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Technology Mobility and Job Mobility A comparative analysis between patent and survey data


  • Camilla Lenzi


In recent years, increasing attention and resources have been devoted to the analysis of workers’ mobility and the collection of new and extensive datasets in order to monitor and appraise this phenomenon. Most of the studies make use of information about inventors extracted from patent data. In fact, patent data collects detailed information on inventors, their geographical location and the applicants of their patents. This paper instead makes use of unique data on inventors’ curriculum vitae collected through a survey addressed to a group of Italian inventors in the pharmaceutical field and compares this information to those extracted from patent data. Results seem to challenge the traditional interpretation of mobility phenomena based on patent data and suggest that patent and survey data might capture different aspects of inventors’ career path. In particular, results indicate that survey data describes the whole set of inventors’ employers and the knowledge flows across them. Conversely, patent data portrays a different set that is the one composed of those actors directly involved in inventive processes and participating to the production of patented knowledge. More interestingly, they overlap only partially and do not necessarily coincide.

Suggested Citation

  • Camilla Lenzi, 2007. "Technology Mobility and Job Mobility A comparative analysis between patent and survey data," DRUID Working Papers 07-22, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:07-22

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    Patent; Mobility; Inventor;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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