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Stars and Comets: An Exploration of the Patent Universe

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  • Carlo Menon

Abstract

The analysis of patent and citation data has become a popular source of evidence on localizedknowledge spillovers and innovation. Nevertheless, an aspect has been overlooked: the patentdistribution across inventors is extremely skewed, as many inventors register one or a fewpatents, while a small number of inventors register many patents. To our knowledge, theprevious empirical literature has not discussed the different kinds of local innovation fromwhich patents may originate. A first contribution of this paper is therefore to document theissue. A second contribution is to investigate whether patents originating from differentscales of innovation are located in different cities. A third contribution - which constitutes themain scope of the paper - is to test whether the concentration of the activity of star inventorsis beneficial to the local productivity of other kinds of innovation - namely the ones led bymore occasional, and less prolific, inventors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0037.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0037

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Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

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Keywords: localized knowledge spillovers; patents; innovation;

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  1. Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Determinants of Knowledge Flows and Their Effect on Innovation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 308-322, May.
  2. Silverberg, Gerald & Verspagen, Bart, 2007. "The size distribution of innovations revisited: An application of extreme value statistics to citation and value measures of patent significance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(2), pages 318-339, August.
  3. Rachel Griffith & Sokbae Lee & John Van Reenen, 2008. "Is distance dying at last?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4595, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Natarajan Balasubramanian & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2011. "What Happens When Firms Patent? New Evidence from U.S. Economic Census Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 126-146, February.
  5. Michael Greenstone & Richard Hornbeck & Enrico Moretti, 2008. "Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Million Dollar Plants," Working Paper Series 36-08, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2008.
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Cited by:
  1. Megha Mukim, 2012. "Does Agglomeration Boost Innovation? An Econometric Evaluation," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 357-380, September.
  2. Max Nathan, 2011. "Ethnic Inventors, Diversity and Innovation in the UK: Evidence from Patents Microdata," SERC Discussion Papers 0092, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. Alessandra Scandura, 2013. "The role of scientific and market knowledge in the inventive process: evidence from a survey of industrial inventors," ERSA conference papers ersa13p128, European Regional Science Association.

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