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Growth and innovation in particular sectors of the economy can be spurred by funding from governments or firms with the initial investment producing spillovers into other sectors of the economy. Funding sectors that are central to the economy are expected to produce more or greater spillovers than if more peripheral sectors were funded. If the funding body is a national government, it is desirable that spillovers remain primarily in the domestic economy rather than targeting globally central sectors and risk subsidizing a foreign economy. In this paper, we develop a new method of measuring centrality in the complex network of patent citations that can take national borders into account, where the importance of domestic citations relative to foreign citations can be controlled by a free parameter. We find empirically that while some patent classes are of high importance both in the global and the domestic economy, there often exist patent classes in individual countries that are more central nationally than in global economy.
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