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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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  1. Heckman, James J. & Schmierer, Daniel & Urzua, Sergio, 2009. "Testing the Correlated Random Coefficient Model," IZA Discussion Papers 4525, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  4. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  5. Guido M. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2008. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alan Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," Working Papers 808, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Hidehiko Ichimura & Christopher Taber, 2002. "Semiparametric Reduced-Form Estimation of Tuition Subsidies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 286-292, May.
  8. Kelchtermans, Stijn & Verboven, Frank, 2010. "Program duplication in higher education is not necessarily bad," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 397-409, June.
  9. Barbara Sianesi & John Van Reenen, 2003. "The Returns to Education: Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 157-200, 04.
  10. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
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  12. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
  13. Toivanen, Otto & Väänänen, Lotta, 2010. "Returns to Inventors," CEPR Discussion Papers 7744, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Frenette, Marc, 2009. "Do universities benefit local youth? Evidence from the creation of new universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 318-328, June.
  15. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Kerr, Sari, 2009. "School tracking and intergenerational income mobility: Evidence from the Finnish comprehensive school reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 965-973, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Goldbach, Stefan, 2012. "Innovation and Education: Is there a 'Nerd Effect'?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62307, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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