A previous version of this working paper was originally published in December 2017.
Interferences resulted when two or more independent parties submitted identical claims of invention nearly simultaneously. Following the idea that inventors of identical inventions share common knowledge inputs, interferences provide a new method for measuring knowledge spillovers. Interfering inventors are 1.4 to 4 times more likely to live in the same local area than matched control pairs of inventors. They are also more geographically concentrated than citation-linked inventors. Our results emphasize geographic distance as a barrier to tacit knowledge flows.View the Full Working Paper