Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Intermediaries in the U.S. Market for Technology, 1870-1920

Contents:

Author Info

  • Naomi R. Lamoreaux
  • Kenneth L. Sokoloff

Abstract

We argue that the emergence of a well-developed market for patented technologies over the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries facilitated the emergence of a group of highly specialized and productive inventors by making it possible for them to transfer to others responsibility for developing and commercializing their inventions. The most basic of the institutional supports that made this market possible was, of course, the patent system, which created secure and tradable property rights in invention. But trade was also facilitated by the emergence of intermediaries who economized on the information costs associated with assessing the value of inventions and helped to match sellers and buyers of patent rights. Patent agents and lawyers were particularly well placed to provide these kinds of services, because they were linked to similar attorneys in other parts of the country and because, in the course of their regular business activities, they accumulated information about participants on both sides of the market for technology. Our quantitative analysis of assignment contracts demonstrates that patentees whose assignments were handled by these specialists produced more patents over their careers, assigned a greater fraction of their patents, and also were able to find buyers for their inventions much more quickly than other patentees. In other words, the development of institutions supporting market trade in patented technology seems to have made it possible for creative individuals to specialize more fully in inventive work -- that is, it seems to have set in motion the kind of Smithian processes that have generally been associated with higher rates of productivity growth.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9017.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9017.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Engerman, Stanley L., Philip T. Hoffman, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, and Kenneth L. Sokoloff (eds.) Finance, Intermediaries, and Economic Development. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9017

Note: DAE PR
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Alberto Di Minin & Mario Benassi, 2008. "Playing In Between: Patents’ Brokers In Markets For Technology," Working Papers 200802, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Istituto di Management.
  2. Paul H. Jensen & Alfons Palangkaraya & Elizabeth Webster, 2013. "Trust, Incomplete Contracts and the Market for Technology," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne wp2013n03, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Naomi R. Lamoreaux & Kenneth L. Sokoloff & Dhanoos Sutthiphisal, 2009. "The Reorganization of Inventive Activity in the United States during the Early Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 15440, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9017. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.