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Exploring the cross-country gap in patenting: A Stochastic Frontier Approach


  • Fu, Xiaolan
  • Yang, Qing Gong


This paper benchmarks the patent activities of a sample of OECD countries against the world frontier and explores the sources of the cross-country differences in patenting (regarded as a proxy for innovation). A patent production frontier is estimated for a panel of 21 OECD countries over the 1990-2002 period using Stochastic Frontier Analysis. Patenting performance for each country is decomposed into basic patenting capacity and patenting efficiency. The gap between Europe and the world leaders in terms of basic patenting capacity remains substantial with little sign of convergence over the sample period. In terms of patenting efficiency, Japan, Germany and Italy have improved their relative position in recent years. The gap in patenting performance between the UK and the world frontier is due to relative underperformance in both patenting capacity and efficiency in patent production. Institutional factors are found to be significantly associated with the patenting efficiency of an economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Fu, Xiaolan & Yang, Qing Gong, 2009. "Exploring the cross-country gap in patenting: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1203-1213, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:38:y:2009:i:7:p:1203-1213

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Sangwon & Nam, Yoonjae & Lee, Seonmi & Son, Hyunjung, 2016. "Determinants of ICT innovations: A cross-country empirical study," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 71-77.
    2. repec:gam:jeners:v:10:y:2017:i:12:p:2131-:d:122976 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:spr:scient:v:98:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1050-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Cullmann, Astrid & Zloczysti, Petra, 2013. "Towards an Efficient Use of R&D – Accounting for Heterogeneity in the OECD," CEPR Discussion Papers 9345, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Hugo Pinto, 2011. "Knowledge Transfer in the Mirror: Reflections on the Determinants of Research Groups and Companies Collaborative Patterns within Andalusia's Regional Innovation System," ERSA conference papers ersa11p212, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Proksch, Dorian & Haberstroh, Marcus Max & Pinkwart, Andreas, 2017. "Increasing the national innovative capacity: Identifying the pathways to success using a comparative method," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 256-270.
    7. Hong, Jin & Feng, Bing & Wu, Yanrui & Wang, Liangbing, 2016. "Do government grants promote innovation efficiency in China's high-tech industries?," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 57, pages 4-13.
    8. Lööf, Hans & Savin, Maxim, 2012. "Cross-country difference in R&D productivity Comparison of 11 European economies," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 294, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, revised 13 Mar 2013.
    9. Chiara Franco & Fabio Pieri & Francesco Venturini, 2016. "Product market regulation and innovation efficiency," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 299-315, June.
    10. repec:spr:scient:v:83:y:2010:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-009-0126-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Drivas, Kyriakos & Economidou, Claire & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2014. "A Poisson Stochastic Frontier Model with Finite Mixture Structure," MPRA Paper 57485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Halkos, George & Tzeremes, Nickolaos, 2011. "The effect of national culture on countries’ innovation efficiency," MPRA Paper 30100, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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