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Ethnic Inventors, Diversity and Innovation in the UK: Evidence from Patents Microdata

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  • Max Nathan

Abstract

Ethnic inventors play important roles in US innovation systems, especially in high-tech regions like Silicon Valley. Do 'ethnicity-innovation' channels exist elsewhere? This paper investigates, using a new panel of UK patents microdata. In theory, ethnicity might affect positively innovation via 'star' migrants, network externalities from co-ethnic groups, or production complementarities from diverse inventor communities. I use the novel ONOMAP name classification system to identify ethnic inventors. Controlling for individuals' human capital, I find small positive effects of South Asian and Southern European co-ethnic group membership on individual patenting. The overall diversity of inventor communities also helps raise individual inventors' productivity. I find no hard evidence that ethnic inventors crowd out patenting by majority groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0092.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0092

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

Related research

Keywords: ethnic inventors; innovation; patents; cultural diversity; diasporas; cities;

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Cited by:
  1. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2013. "Skilled Immigration and the Employment Structures of U.S. Firms," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-040, Harvard Business School.
  2. Riccardo Crescenzi & Max Nathan & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Do Inventors Talk to Strangers? On Proximity and Collaborative Knowledge Creation," SERC Discussion Papers 0153, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. Thomas Kemeny, 2013. "Immigrant Diversity and Economic Development in Cities: A Critical Review," SERC Discussion Papers 0149, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  4. Nathan, Max, 2013. "The Wider Economic Impacts of High-Skilled Migrants: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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