Close to You? Bias and Precision in Patent-Based Measures of Technological Proximity
AbstractPatent data have been widely used in research on technological innovation to characterize firms' locations as well as the proximities among firms in knowledge space. Researchers could measure proximity among firms with a variety of measures based on patent class data, including Euclidean distance, correlation, and angle between firms' patent class distributions. Alternatively, one could measure proximity using overlap in cited patents. We point out that measures of proximity based on small numbers of patents are imprecisely measured random variables. Measures computed on samples with few patents generate both biased and imprecise measures of proximity. We explore the effects of larger sample sizes and coarser patent class breakdowns in mitigating these problems. Where possible, we suggest that researchers increase their sample sizes by aggregating years or using all of the listed patent classes on a patent, rather than just the first.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13322.
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Benner, Mary & Waldfogel, Joel, 2008. "Close to you? Bias and precision in patent-based measures of technological proximity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1556-1567, October.
Note: IO PR
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Benner, Mary & Waldfogel, Joel, 2008. "Close to you? Bias and precision in patent-based measures of technological proximity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1556-1567, October.
- O31 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-08-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2007-08-27 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2007-08-27 (Intellectual Property Rights)
- NEP-KNM-2007-08-27 (Knowledge Management & Knowledge Economy)
- NEP-TID-2007-08-27 (Technology & Industrial Dynamics)
- NEP-URE-2007-08-27 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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.:
- Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001.
"The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools,"
2001-29, Tel Aviv.
- Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hall, Bronwyn H & Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," CEPR Discussion Papers 3094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jaeyong Song & Paul Almeida & Geraldine Wu, 2003. "Learning--by--Hiring: When Is Mobility More Likely to Facilitate Interfirm Knowledge Transfer?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 351-365, April.
- Manuel Trajtenberg & Adam B. Jaffe & Michael S. Fogarty, 2000. "Knowledge Spillovers and Patent Citations: Evidence from a Survey of Inventors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 215-218, May.
- Lucia Piscitello, 2004. "Corporate diversification, coherence and economic performance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 757-787, October.
- Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel & Henderson, Rebecca, 1993.
"Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-98, August.
- Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
- Fleming, Lee & Sorenson, Olav, 2001. "Technology as a complex adaptive system: evidence from patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1019-1039, August.
- Constance E. Helfat, 1994. "Evolutionary Trajectories in Petroleum Firm R&D," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(12), pages 1720-1747, December.
- Juan Alcácer & Michelle Gittelman, 2006. "Patent Citations as a Measure of Knowledge Flows: The Influence of Examiner Citations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 774-779, November.
- Lori Rosenkopf & Paul Almeida, 2003. "Overcoming Local Search Through Alliances and Mobility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(6), pages 751-766, June.
- Brian S. Silverman, 1999. "Technological Resources and the Direction of Corporate Diversification: Toward an Integration of the Resource-Based View and Transaction Cost Economics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(8), pages 1109-1124, August.
- McNamee, Robert C., 2013. "Can’t see the forest for the leaves: Similarity and distance measures for hierarchical taxonomies with a patent classification example," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 855-873.
- Nemet, Gregory F., 2012. "Inter-technology knowledge spillovers for energy technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1259-1270.
- Alvaro Escribano & Szabolcs Blazsek, 2012. "Patents, secret innovations and firm's rate of return : differential effects of the innovation leader," Economics Working Papers we1202, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
- Marcela Miozzo & Lori DiVito & Panos Desyllas, 2011. "Cross-border acquisitions of science-based firms: Their effect on innovation in the acquired firm and the local science," DRUID Working Papers 11-17, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
- Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Jialan Wang, 2008.
NBER Working Papers
14577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Carayannopoulos, Sofy & Auster, Ellen R., 2010. "External knowledge sourcing in biotechnology through acquisition versus alliance: A KBV approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 254-267, March.
- Davide Castellani & Giulio Giangaspero & Antonello Zanfei, 2013. "Heterogeneity and distance. Some propositions on how differences across regions, firms and functions affect the role of distance in FDI location decisions," Working Papers 1308, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2013.
- Nicholas, Tom, 2011. "The origins of Japanese technological modernization," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 272-291, April.
- Khoury, Theodore A. & Pleggenkuhle-Miles, Erin G., 2011. "Shared inventions and the evolution of capabilities: Examining the biotechnology industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 943-956, September.
- Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli & Daniele Rotolo & Vito Albino, 2014. "Determinants of Patent Citations in Biotechnology: An Analysis of Patent Influence Across the Industrial and Organizational Boundaries," SPRU Working Paper Series 2014-05, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
- Nemet, Gregory F. & Johnson, Evan, 2012. "Do important inventions benefit from knowledge originating in other technological domains?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 190-200.
- Bar, Talia & Leiponen, Aija, 2012. "A measure of technological distance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 457-459.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.