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Why Don't Women Patent?

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  • Jennifer Hunt
  • Jean-Philippe Garant
  • Hannah Herman
  • David J. Munroe

Abstract

We investigate women's underrepresentation among holders of commercialized patents: only 5.5% of holders of such patents are female. Using the National Survey of College Graduates 2003, we find only 7% of the gap is accounted for by women's lower probability of holding any science or engineering degree, because women with such a degree are scarcely more likely to patent than women without. Differences among those without a science or engineering degree account for 15%, while 78% is accounted for by differences among those with a science or engineering degree. For the latter group, we find that women's underrepresentation in engineering and in jobs involving development and design explain much of the gap; closing it would increase U.S. GDP per capita by 2.7%.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17888.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Publication status: published as Why are women underrepresented amongst patentees? Original Research Article Research Policy, Volume 42, Issue 4, May 2013, Pages 831-843 Jennifer Hunt, Jean-Philippe Garant, Hannah Herman, David J. Munroe
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17888

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References

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  1. Basit Zafar, 2009. "College major choice and the gender gap," Staff Reports 364, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Michael J. Boskin & Lawrence J. Lau, 2000. "Generalized Solow-Neutral Technical Progress and Postwar Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 8023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Porter, Michael E. & Stern, Scott, 2002. "The determinants of national innovative capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 899-933, August.
  4. Jennifer Hunt, 2010. "Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering?," NBER Working Papers 15853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kjersten Whittington & Laurel Smith-Doerr, 2005. "Gender and Commercial Science: Women’s Patenting in the Life Sciences," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 355-370, October.
  6. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2011. "Math or Science? Using Longitudinal Expectations Data to Examine the Process of Choosing a College Major," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20111, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  7. Lisa D. Cook & Chaleampong Kongcharoen, 2010. "The Idea Gap in Pink and Black," NBER Working Papers 16331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Paula Stephan & Shiferaw Gurmu & Albert Sumell & Grant Black, 2007. "Who'S Patenting In The University? Evidence From The Survey Of Doctorate Recipients," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 71-99.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Women do not patent
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-03-13 15:23:00
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Cited by:
  1. Hunt, Jennifer, 2012. "Why Do Women Leave Science and Engineering?," IZA Discussion Papers 6885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Thomas Breda & Son Thierry Ly, 2012. "Do Professors Really Perpetuate the Gender Gap in Science? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in a French Higher Education Institution," CEE Discussion Papers 0138, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.

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