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Science Quality and the Value of Inventions

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  • Felix Poege
  • Dietmar Harhoff
  • Fabian Gaessler
  • Stefano Baruffaldi

Abstract

Despite decades of research, the relationship between the quality of science and the value of inventions has remained unclear. We present the result of a large-scale matching exercise between 4.8 million patent families and 43 million publication records. We find a strong positive relationship between quality of scientific contributions referenced in patents and the value of the respective inventions. We rank patents by the quality of the science they are linked to. Strikingly, high-rank patents are twice as valuable as low-rank patents, which in turn are about as valuable as patents without direct science link. We show this core result for various science quality and patent value measures. The effect of science quality on patent value remains relevant even when science is linked indirectly through other patents. Our findings imply that what is considered "excellent" within the science sector also leads to outstanding outcomes in the technological or commercial realm.

Suggested Citation

  • Felix Poege & Dietmar Harhoff & Fabian Gaessler & Stefano Baruffaldi, 2019. "Science Quality and the Value of Inventions," Papers 1903.05020, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1903.05020
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    Cited by:

    1. Higham, Kyle & de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Jaffe, Adam B., 2021. "Patent Quality: Towards a Systematic Framework for Analysis and Measurement," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(4).
    2. Kathrin Wernsdorf & Markus Nagler & Martin Watzinger, 2020. "ICT, Collaboration, and Science-Based Innovation: Evidence from BITNET," CESifo Working Paper Series 8646, CESifo.
    3. Ayoubi, Charles & Thurm, Boris, 2020. "Knowledge Diffusion and Morality: Why do we Freely Share Valuable Information with Strangers?," OSF Preprints 78mua, Center for Open Science.
    4. Matt Marx & Aaron Fuegi, 2020. "Reliance on science: Worldwide front‐page patent citations to scientific articles," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(9), pages 1572-1594, September.
    5. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2021. "Academic Freedom, Institutions and Productivity," Working Paper Series 1405, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Hötte, Kerstin & Pichler, Anton & Lafond, François, 2021. "The rise of science in low-carbon energy technologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    7. Rachel Heyard & Hanna Hottenrott, 2021. "The value of research funding for knowledge creation and dissemination: A study of SNSF Research Grants," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 1-16, December.

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