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Getting Patents & Economic Data to Speak to Each Other: An ‘Algorithmic Links with Probabilities’ Approach for Joint Analyses of Patenting & Economic Activity

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  • Travis J. Lybbert

    (Department Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of California, Davis)

  • Nikolas J. Zolas

    (Center for Economic Studies, United States Census Bureau)

Abstract

International technological diffusion is a key determinant of cross-country differences in economic performance. While patents can be a useful proxy for innovation and technological change and diffusion, fully exploiting patent data for such economic analyses requires patents to be tied to measures of economic activity. In this paper, we describe and explore a new algorithmic approach to constructing concordances between the International Patent Classification (IPC) system that organizes patents by technical features and industry classification systems that organize economic data, such as the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC), the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) and the Harmonized System (HS). This ‘Algorithmic Links with Probabilities’ (ALP) approach incorporates text analysis software and keyword extraction programs and applies them to a comprehensive patent dataset. We compare the results of several ALP concordances to existing technology concordances. Based on these comparisons, we select a preferred ALP approach and discuss advantages of this approach relative to conventional approaches. We conclude with a discussion on some of the possible applications of the concordance and provide a sample analysis that uses our preferred ALP concordance to analyze international patent flows based on trade patterns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division in its series WIPO Economic Research Working Papers with number 05.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision: Oct 2012
Handle: RePEc:wip:wpaper:05

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  1. 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.
  2. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," NBER Working Papers 10314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 1995. "Trade in Ideas: Patenting and Productivity in the OECD," NBER Working Papers 5049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin & Reichl, Bettina & van Pottelsberghe, Bruno, 2007. "Patent Validation at the Country Level - The Role of Fees and Translation costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 6565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  6. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  7. Michael E. Porter & Scott Stern, 2000. "Measuring the "Ideas" Production Function: Evidence from International Patent Output," NBER Working Papers 7891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Comanor, William S & Scherer, Frederic M, 1969. "Patent Statistics as a Measure of Technical Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(3), pages 392-98, May/June.
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