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

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  • 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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Keywords: Productivity; Industrial inventors; Patent quality;

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References

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  1. Hall, Bronwyn H & Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure 1227, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  2. Dietmar Harhoff, 2008. "Innovation, Entrepreneurship und Demographie," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(s1), pages 46-72, 05.
  3. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "A Policy Insight into the R&D-Patent Relationship," Working Papers CEB, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles 08-008.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Ejermo, Olof & Jung, Taehyun, 2012. "Demographic patterns and trends in patenting: Gender, age, and education of inventors," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy 2012/5, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, revised 03 Apr 2012.

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