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The Agglomeration of US Ethnic Inventors

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  • William R. Kerr

    ()
    (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)

Abstract

The ethnic composition of US inventors is undergoing a significant transformation - with deep impacts for the overall agglomeration of US innovation. This study applies an ethnic-name database to individual US patent records to explore these trends with greater detail. The contributions of Chinese and Indian scientists and engineers to US technology formation increase dramatically in the 1990s. At the same time, these ethnic inventors became more spatially concentrated across US cities. The combination of these two factors helps stop and reverse long-term declines in overall inventor agglomeration evident in the 1970s and 1980s. The heightened ethnic agglomeration is particularly evident in industry patents for high-tech sectors, and similar trends are not found in institutions constrained from agglomerating (e.g., universities, government).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 09-003.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:09-003

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Keywords: Agglomeration; Innovation; Research and Development; Patents; Scientists; Engineers; Inventors; Ethnicity; Immigration.;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Edward L. Glaeser & William R. Kerr, 2009. "Local Industrial Conditions and Entrepreneurship: How Much of the Spatial Distribution Can We Explain?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 623-663, 09.
  2. William R. Kerr, 2009. "Breakthrough Inventions and Migrating Clusters of Innovation," NBER Working Papers 15443, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ajay Agrawal, 2014. "Diaspora Networks, Knowledge Flows and Brain Drain," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 15, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division.
  4. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln, 2010. "The Supply Side of Innovation: H-1B Visa Reforms and U.S. Ethnic Invention," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 473-508, 07.
  5. C. Fritz Foley & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Ethnic Innovation and U.S. Multinational Firm Activity," NBER Working Papers 17336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. William R. Kerr, 2007. "The Ethnic Composition of US Inventors," Harvard Business School Working Papers 08-006, Harvard Business School.
  7. William R. Kerr, 2010. "The Agglomeration of U.S. Ethnic Inventors," NBER Chapters, in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 237-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Max Nathan, 2011. "Ethnic Inventors, Diversity and Innovation in the UK: Evidence from Patents Microdata," SERC Discussion Papers 0092, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.

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