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

  • de Rassenfosse, Gaétan

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 42 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1072-1079

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:42:y:2013:i:5:p:1072-1079
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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  1. Encaoua, David & Guellec, Dominique & Martinez, Catalina, 2006. "Patent systems for encouraging innovation: Lessons from economic analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1423-1440, November.
  2. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
  3. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mariani, Myriam & Romanelli, Marzia, 2007. ""Stacking" and "picking" inventions: The patenting behavior of European inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1128-1142, October.
  5. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2008. "A brief history of space and time: the scope-year index as a patent value indicator based on families and renewals," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6383, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Gaétan Rassenfosse, 2012. "How SMEs exploit their intellectual property assets: evidence from survey data," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 437-452, September.
  7. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Applications to Poisson Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 701-20, May.
  8. Emmanuel DUGUET & Isabelle KABLA, 1998. "Appropriation Strategy and the Motivations to Use the Patent System: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level in French Manufacturing," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 49-50, pages 289-327.
  9. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-38, July.
  10. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, 1996. "Scale, Scope, and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 32-59, Spring.
  11. Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
  12. Neuhäusler, Peter & Frietsch, Rainer & Schubert, Torben & Blind, Knut, 2011. "Patents and the financial performance of firms - An analysis based on stock market data," Discussion Papers "Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis" 28, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  13. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  14. Karan Girotra & Christian Terwiesch & Karl T. Ulrich, 2010. "Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(4), pages 591-605, April.
  15. Alexandra Zaby, 2010. "Losing the lead: the patenting decision in the light of the disclosure requirement," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 147-164.
  16. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-32, December.
  17. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Gaetan de Rassenfosse & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2012. "On the Price Elasticity of Demand for Patents," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(1), pages 58-77, 02.
  19. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Dominique Guellec, 2000. "Applications grants and the value of patents," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/6229, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  20. Schankerman, Mark & Pakes, Ariel, 1986. "Estimates of the Value of Patent Rights in European Countries during the Post-1950 Period," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1052-76, December.
  21. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2004. "Exploring the Patent Explosion," NBER Working Papers 10605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Arora, Ashish & Ceccagnoli, Marco & Cohen, Wesley M., 2008. "R&D and the patent premium," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1153-1179, September.
  23. James J. Anton & Dennis A. Yao, 2004. "Little Patents and Big Secrets: Managing Intellectual Property," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, Spring.
  24. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
  25. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
  26. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "What is behind the recent surge in patenting?1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-22, January.
  27. Erkal, Nisvan, 2005. "The decision to patent, cumulative innovation, and optimal policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(7-8), pages 535-562, September.
  28. Lee Fleming, 2001. "Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 117-132, January.
  29. Ernst, Holger, 1998. "Industrial research as a source of important patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-15, May.
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