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Behind the recent surge of Chinese patenting: An institutional view

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  • Li, Xibao
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    Abstract

    This paper examines a number of forces that have possibly contributed to the explosive growth of Chinese patenting over the past decade. After a review of previous hypotheses and conventional wisdom, this study proposes an additional explanation and argues that patent subsidy programs implemented by each provincial region have played an important role in the growth of Chinese patenting. This institutional change, taking place at the province-level, has induced an increase in patent propensity among not only firms, universities, and research institutes, but also individuals. Empirical evidence based on publicly available data provides solid support for this argument. It was also found that a larger fraction of applications are granted patent rights since the implementation of such programs, suggesting that reduction in patent application quality may not be a serious concern, unless the criteria used for patent examination have been lowered.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733311001302
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 236-249

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:1:p:236-249

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    Related research

    Keywords: Patent; Patent subsidy; Intellectual property right; Institution; Regional innovation system;

    References

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    1. Park, Walter G., 2008. "International patent protection: 1960-2005," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 761-766, May.
    2. Li, Xibao, 2009. "China's regional innovation capacity in transition: An empirical approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 338-357, March.
    3. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
    5. Arundel, Anthony & Kabla, Isabelle, 1998. "What percentage of innovations are patented? empirical estimates for European firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 127-141, June.
    6. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-38, July.
    7. Minyuan Zhao, 2006. "Conducting R& D in Countries with Weak Intellectual Property Rights Protection," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(8), pages 1185-1199, August.
    8. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Exploring the Patent Explosion," NBER Working Papers 10605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
    10. Yang, Deli, 2008. "Pendency and grant ratios of invention patents: A comparative study of the US and China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 1035-1046, July.
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    12. Hu, Albert Guangzhou & Jefferson, Gary H., 2009. "A great wall of patents: What is behind China's recent patent explosion?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 57-68, September.
    13. Sakakibara, Mariko & Branstetter, Lee, 2001. "Do Stronger Patents Induce More Innovation? Evidence from the 1988 Japanese Patent Law Reforms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 77-100, Spring.
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    15. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Porter, Michael E. & Stern, Scott, 2002. "The determinants of national innovative capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 899-933, August.
    16. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Patents and R&D: Is There A Lag?," NBER Working Papers 1454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1999. "Innovative output, and a firm's propensity to patent.: An exploration of CIS micro data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 615-624, August.
    19. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
    20. Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A, 1986. "Patents and R and D: Is There a Lag?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(2), pages 265-83, June.
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    23. Crepon, Bruno & Duguet, Emmanuel, 1997. "Estimating the Innovation Function from Patent Numbers: GMM on Count Panel Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 243-63, May-June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Zhang, Han & Patton, Donald & Kenney, Martin, 2013. "Building global-class universities: Assessing the impact of the 985 Project," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 765-775.
    2. Yanrui Wu, 2012. "R&D Behaviour in Chinese Firms," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 12-26, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    3. Böing, Philipp & Müller, Elisabeth & Sandner, Philipp, 2013. "In-house R&D and External Knowledge Acquisition What Makes Chinese Firms Productive?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80037, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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