Institutions and Technological Innovation During Early Economic Growth: Evidence from the Great Inventors of the United States, 1790 – 1930
AbstractBiographical information on a sample of renowned U.S. inventors is combined with information on the patents they received over their careers, and employed to highlight the implications of patent institutions for markets in inventions and for democratization. The United States deliberately created a patent system that differed from existing European systems in ways that significantly affected the course of technological change. Patent rights in the U.S. helped to define and enforce tradable assets in new technological knowledge. By facilitating access to such markets in technology, patents enhanced the benefits to relatively disadvantaged individuals who might otherwise have been unable to directly extract returns from their technological creativity, and their response to such incentives increased overall technological progress. For this reason, despite the defects of patent monopolies, developing economies today may still advance technological progress and improve social welfare by providing broad access to property rights in inventions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1299.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-DEV-2004-11-07 (Development)
- NEP-HIS-2005-01-05 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-INO-2004-11-07 (Innovation)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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NBER Working Papers
2707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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