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Collective Knowledge, Prolific Inventors And The Value Of Inventions: An Empirical Study Of French, German And British Patents In The Us, 1975-1999

Author

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  • Claudine Gay
  • William Latham
  • Christian Le Bas

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to test two related hypotheses: The first is that the involvement of both prolific and foreign inventors in the production of knowledge has a direct, positive impact on the collective dimension of this knowledge production as measured by the size of the inventive team. The second is that the involvement of both prolific and foreign inventors has a direct, positive impact on the value of the new knowledge produced. We use detailed information from nearly 300,000 patents granted by the US Patent Office to French, German, and British inventors over the period from 1975 to 1999. From the data available from each patent regarding citations of prior patents and the numbers and identities of the inventors listed in the patent application, we are able to construct measures of collective knowledge, the presence of prolific and foreign inventors, and the imputed value of patents. In a novel approach in this literature, we estimate negative binomial multiple regression models for determining both the size of the collective dimension and the value of the patents. After controlling for the effects of years, technological fields, and patenting country, we find a strong support for the hypothesis that both prolific and foreign inventors tend to be parts of larger teams of inventors and for the hypothesis that prolific and foreign inventors tend to produce inventions having more value. In the conclusion, we draw some implications from these results for knowledge governance.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudine Gay & William Latham & Christian Le Bas, 2008. "Collective Knowledge, Prolific Inventors And The Value Of Inventions: An Empirical Study Of French, German And British Patents In The Us, 1975-1999," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1-2), pages 5-22.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:17:y:2008:i:1-2:p:5-22
    DOI: 10.1080/10438590701279193
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mariani, Myriam, 2000. "Networks of Inventors in the Chemical Industry," Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Vopel, Katrin & Scherer, Frederic M. & Narin, Francis & Harhoff, Dietmar, 1997. "Citation Frequency and the Value of Patented Innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-27, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Stolpe, Michael, 2001. "Mobility of research workers and knowledge diffusion as evidenced in patent data: the case of liquid crystal display technology," Kiel Working Papers 1038, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R, 2001. "Capturing Technological Opportunity via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 37-58, January.
    5. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2001. "The Microeconomics of Technological Systems," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245536.
    6. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1996. "Flows of Knowledge from Universities and Federal Labs: Modeling the Flowof Patent Citations Over Time and Across Institutional and Geographic Boundari," NBER Working Papers 5712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Zucker, Lynne G. & Darby, Michael R. & Armstrong, Jeff, 1994. "Inter-Institutional Spillover Effects in the Commercialization of Bioscience," Institute for Social Science Research, Working Paper Series qt4d96f3xh, Institute for Social Science Research, UCLA.
    8. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "The Search for R&D Spillovers," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 251-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cristiano, Antonelli & Ferraris, Gianluigi, 2009. "Innovation as an Emerging System Property: an Agent Based Model," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200911, University of Turin.
    2. Malwina Mejer, 2012. "The impact of knowledge diversity on inventive performance at European universities," iCite Working Papers 2013-004, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Acosta, Manuel & Coronado, Daniel & Martínez, M. Ángeles, 2012. "Spatial differences in the quality of university patenting: Do regions matter?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 692-703.
    4. William Latham & Christian Le Bas & Dmitry Volodin, 2011. "Value of invention, prolific inventor productivity and mobility : evidence from five countries, 1975-2002," Working Papers 1133, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    5. Lawson Cornelia & Sterzi Valerio, 2012. "The role of early career factors in academic patenting," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201201, University of Turin.
    6. Cristiano Antonelli & Gianluigi Ferraris, 2011. "Innovation as an Emerging System Property: An Agent Based Simulation Model," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 14(2), pages 1-1.

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