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Knowledge Flows, Patent Citations and the Impact of Science on Technology

  • onder Nomaler
  • Bart Verspagen

Technological innovation depends on knowledge developed by scientific research. The number of citations made in patents to the scientific literature has been suggested as an indicator of this process of transfer of knowledge from science to technology. We provide an intersectoral insight into this indicator, by breaking down patent citations into a sector-to-sector matrix of knowledge flows. We then propose a method to analyze this matrix and construct various indicators of science intensity of sectors, and the pervasiveness of knowledge flows. Our results indicate that the traditional measure of the number of citations to science literature per patent captures important aspects of intersectoral knowledge flows, but that other aspects are not captured. In particular, we show that high science intensity implies that sectors are net suppliers of knowledge in the economic sector, but that science intensity does not say much about pervasiveness of either knowledge use or knowledge supply by sectors. We argue that these results are related to the specific and specialized nature of knowledge.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economic Systems Research.

Volume (Year): 20 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 339-366

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecsysr:v:20:y:2008:i:4:p:339-366
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  1. Sorenson, Olav & Fleming, Lee, 2004. "Science and the diffusion of knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1615-1634, December.
  2. Dosi, Giovanni & Llerena, Patrick & Labini, Mauro Sylos, 2006. "The relationships between science, technologies and their industrial exploitation: An illustration through the myths and realities of the so-called `European Paradox'," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1450-1464, December.
  3. Erik Dietzenbacher, 2005. "More on multipliers," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 421-426.
  4. Hicks, Diana & Breitzman, Tony & Olivastro, Dominic & Hamilton, Kimberly, 2001. "The changing composition of innovative activity in the US -- a portrait based on patent analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 681-703, April.
  5. J. S·nchez-ChÛliz & R. Duarte, 2003. "Analysing pollution by way of vertically integrated coefficients, with an application to the water sector in Aragon," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 433-448, May.
  6. Maurseth, Per Botolf & Verspagen, Bart, 2002. " Knowledge Spillovers in Europe: A Patent Citations Analysis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 531-45, December.
  7. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  8. Daniel Johnson & Robert Evenson, 1997. "Innovation and Invention in Canada," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 177-192.
  9. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2002. "Links and Impacts: The Influence of Public Research on Industrial R&D," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, January.
  10. Jan Oosterhaven & Dirk Stelder, 2002. "Net Multipliers Avoid Exaggerating Impacts: With A Bi-Regional Illustration for the Dutch Transportation Sector," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 533-543.
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