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Did R&D Firms Used to Patent? Evidence from the First Innovation Surveys

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  • NICHOLAS, TOM

Abstract

Matching 2,777 R&D firms in surveys conducted by the National Research Council between 1921 and 1938 with U.S. patents reveals that 59 percent of all firms and 88 percent of publicly traded firms patented. These shares are much higher than those observed for modern R&D firms. Industry, firm size and the location of R&D facilities relative to major cities are shown to be important determinants of the propensity to patent. The effect of these factors remained constant across the 1920s and the Depression years suggesting that the tradeoff between patent disclosure and secrecy did not change over time.

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  • Nicholas, Tom, 2011. "Did R&D Firms Used to Patent? Evidence from the First Innovation Surveys," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(04), pages 1032-1059, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:71:y:2011:i:04:p:1032-1059_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Han, Junghee & Heshmati, Almas, 2015. "Innovation and SMEs Patent Propensity in Korea," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 395, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    2. Fontana, Roberto & Nuvolari, Alessandro & Shimizu, Hiroshi & Vezzulli, Andrea, 2013. "Reassessing patent propensity: Evidence from a dataset of R&D awards, 1977–2004," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 1780-1792.
    3. Juana Sanchez, 2014. "Innovation Output Choices And Characteristics Of Firms In The U.S," Working Papers 14-42, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Juana Sanchez, 2014. "Non-technological and Mixed Modes of Innovation in the United States. Evidence from the Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey, 2008-2011," Working Papers 14-35, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1808-:d:114286 is not listed on IDEAS

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