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Education and Invention

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  • Toivanen, Otto
  • Väänänen, Lotta

Abstract

Modern growth theory puts invention on the center stage. Inventions are created by individuals, raising the question: can we increase number of inventors? To answer this question, we study the causal effect of M.Sc. engineering education on invention, using data on U.S. patents’ Finnish inventors and the distance to the nearest technical university as an instrument. We find a positive effect of engineering education on the propensity to patent, and a negative OLS bias. Our counterfactual calculation suggests that establishing 3 new technical universities resulted in a 20% increase in the number of USPTO patents by Finnish inventors.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8537.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8537

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Related research

Keywords: ability bias; citations; education; engineers; growth; innovation; invention; inventors; patents;

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References

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  7. Toivanen, Otto & Väänänen, Lotta, 2010. "Returns to Inventors," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 309, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Goldbach, Stefan, 2012. "Innovation and Education: Is there a ‘Nerd Effect’?," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 56008, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
  2. Ejermo, Olof & Jung, Taehyun, 2012. "Demographic patterns and trends in patenting: Gender, age, and education of inventors," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2012/5, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, revised 03 Apr 2012.

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