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Do firms face a trade-off between the quantity and the quality of their inventions?

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  • de Rassenfosse, Gaétan

Abstract

This paper presents evidence that firms face a trade-off between the quantity and the quality of their research output. The econometric analysis uses survey data on patent applicants at the European Patent Office and addresses the identification problem caused by differences in firms’ propensity to patent. The existence of a trade-off emphasizes the need to take the quality of research output into account when assessing research productivity. It also raises questions about the optimal quantity–quality mix that firms should target.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733313000437
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 42 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1072-1079

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:42:y:2013:i:5:p:1072-1079

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

Related research

Keywords: Innovation performance; Invention quality; Invention quantity; Patent explosion; Propensity to patent; Research productivity;

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  1. Neuhäusler, Peter & Frietsch, Rainer & Schubert, Torben & Blind, Knut, 2011. "Patents and the financial performance of firms - An analysis based on stock market data," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 28, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  2. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
  3. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "On the Price Elasticity of Demand for Patents," Working Papers ECARES 2008_031, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Guellec, Dominique & Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno v., 2000. "Applications, grants and the value of patent," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 109-114, October.
  6. Arora, Ashish & Ceccagnoli, Marco & Cohen, Wesley M., 2008. "R&D and the patent premium," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1153-1179, September.
  7. Alexandra Zaby, 2010. "Losing the lead: the patenting decision in the light of the disclosure requirement," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 147-164.
  8. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Applications to Poisson Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 701-20, May.
  9. Karan Girotra & Christian Terwiesch & Karl T. Ulrich, 2010. "Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(4), pages 591-605, April.
  10. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Exploring the Patent Explosion," NBER Working Papers 10605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ernst, Holger, 1998. "Industrial research as a source of important patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-15, May.
  12. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-32, Nov.-Dec..
  13. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, 1996. "Scale, Scope, and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 32-59, Spring.
  14. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
  16. Zvi Griliches, 1991. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Lee Fleming, 2001. "Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 117-132, January.
  18. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2004. "Little Patents and Big Secrets: Managing Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, Spring.
  19. Emmanuel DUGUET & Isabelle KABLA, 1998. "Appropriation Strategy and the Motivations to Use the Patent System: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level in French Manufacturing," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 49-50, pages 289-327.
  20. Mark Schankerman & Ariel Pakes, 1987. "Estimates of the Value of Patent Rights in European Countries During thePost-1950 Period," NBER Working Papers 1650, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. David Encaoua & Dominique Guellec & Catalina Martínez, 2006. "Patent Systems for Encouraging Innovation: Lessons from Economic Analysis," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00177614, HAL.
  23. van Pottelsberghe, Bruno & van Zeebroeck, Nicolas, 2007. "A Brief History of Space and Time: the Scope-Year Index as a Patent Value Indicator Based on Families and Renewals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6321, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Erkal, Nisvan, 2005. "The decision to patent, cumulative innovation, and optimal policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 535-562, September.
  25. Gaétan Rassenfosse, 2012. "How SMEs exploit their intellectual property assets: evidence from survey data," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 437-452, September.
  26. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
  27. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-32, December.
  28. Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
  29. Mariani, Myriam & Romanelli, Marzia, 2007. ""Stacking" and "picking" inventions: The patenting behavior of European inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1128-1142, October.
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