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"Stacking" or "Picking" Patents? The Inventors' Choice Between Quantity and Quality

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Author Info

  • Myriam Mariani
  • Marzia Romanelli

Abstract

This paper studies the determinants of the quantity and quality of inventors’ patents. It uses a sample of 793 inventors drawn from the PatVal-EU dataset and the information on EPO patents that they contributed to inventing during the period 1988-1998. It explores three aspects of the inventors’ productivity: 1) the number of EPO patents that they produce; 2) their average quality; 3) the quality of the most valuable patents. By jointly estimating the three equations we find that the inventors’ level of education, employment in a large firm and involvement in large-scale research projects positively affect quantity. Yet, apart from the size of the research project, none of these factors directly influences the expected quality of the innovations. They do, however, indirectly, as we find that the number of innovations explains the probability of producing a technological hit (the maximum value). Also, there are no decreasing returns in the innovation process at an individual level, as the number of innovations that an inventor produces is not correlated with their average quality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2006/06.

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Date of creation: 14 Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2006/06

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Related research

Keywords: Productivity; Industrial inventors; Patent quality;

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References

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  1. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  2. Jasjit Singh, 2005. "Collaborative Networks as Determinants of Knowledge Diffusion Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(5), pages 756-770, May.
  3. Ernst, Holger, 1998. "Industrial research as a source of important patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-15, May.
  4. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Armstrong, Jeff, 1998. "Geographically Localized Knowledge: Spillovers or Markets?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 65-86, January.
  5. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin, 2006. "Everything you Always Wanted to Know About Inventors (But Never Asked): Evidence from the PatVal-EU Survey," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 1261, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  6. Harhoff, Dietmar & Reitzig, Markus, 2002. "Determinants of Opposition Against EPO Patent Grants - The Case of Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals," CEPR Discussion Papers 3645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Sharon M. Oster & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1998. "Aging And Productivity Among Economists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 154-156, February.
  8. Narin, Francis & Breitzman, Anthony, 1995. "Inventive productivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 507-519, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Vopel, Katrin & Scherer, Frederic M. & Narin, Francis & Harhoff, Dietmar, 1997. "Citation Frequency and the Value of Patented Innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-27, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
  12. Bronwyn H. Hall & Jacques Mairesse & Laure Turner, 2005. "Identifying Age, Cohort and Period Effects in Scientific Research Productivity: Discussion and Illustration Using Simulated and Actual Data on French Physicists," NBER Working Papers 11739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Paul Almeida & Bruce Kogut, 1999. "Localization of Knowledge and the Mobility of Engineers in Regional Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(7), pages 905-917, July.
  14. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Walter Y. Oi & Todd L. Idson, 1999. "Workers Are More Productive in Large Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 104-108, May.
  16. Arrow, Kenneth J., 1973. "Higher education as a filter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 193-216, July.
  17. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
  18. Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "Age and Great Invention," NBER Working Papers 11359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dietmar Harhoff, 2008. "Innovation, Entrepreneurship und Demographie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(s1), pages 46-72, 05.
  2. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno, 2008. "A Policy Insight into the R&D-Patent Relationship," CEPR Discussion Papers 6716, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. William Latham & Christian Le Bas & Dmitry Volodin, 2012. "Mobility, Productivity and Patent Value for Asian Prolific Inventors: China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, 1975 – 2010," Working Papers 1227, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  4. 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.

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