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Do firms face a trade-off between the quantity and the quality of their inventions?

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  • de Rassenfosse, Gaétan

Abstract

This paper presents evidence that firms face a trade-off between the quantity and the quality of their research output. The econometric analysis uses survey data on patent applicants at the European Patent Office and addresses the identification problem caused by differences in firms’ propensity to patent. The existence of a trade-off emphasizes the need to take the quality of research output into account when assessing research productivity. It also raises questions about the optimal quantity–quality mix that firms should target.

Suggested Citation

  • de Rassenfosse, Gaétan, 2013. "Do firms face a trade-off between the quantity and the quality of their inventions?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 1072-1079.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:42:y:2013:i:5:p:1072-1079 DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2013.02.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Boeing, Philipp & Mueller, Elisabeth, 2015. "Measuring patent quality in international comparison: Index development and application to China," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-051, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:111:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2324-z is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Naomi Fukuzawa & Takanori Ida, 2014. "Science linkages focused on star scientists in the life and medical sciences: The case of Japan," Discussion papers e-14-006, Graduate School of Economics Project Center, Kyoto University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation performance; Invention quality; Invention quantity; Patent explosion; Propensity to patent; Research productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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