400 ans de protection par les brevets. Une contribution de cliométrie comparative
This paper contributes to the empirical understanding of economic growth. It examines, as an original case study, the structural and spatial dynamics of patents in Germany, France, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom. The time series are extracted from a new international, comparative and historical database on the long term evolution of patents in 40 countries from the 17th century to 1945 and in more than 150 countries from 1945 to present (Diebolt and Pellier [2010a]). We found strong proof of infrequent large shocks resulting essentially from the major economic and political events formed by the two World Wars in the twentieth century. Our results question the autonomous process, i.e. the internal dynamic of the patent systems. Wars seem to push innovation and finally the economic growth process itself. Classification JEL�: C22, C82, N70, O34
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