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Stars and Comets: An Exploration of the Patent Universe

Listed author(s):
  • Carlo Menon

The analysis of patent and citation data has become a popular source of evidence on localizedknowledge spillovers and innovation. Nevertheless, an aspect has been overlooked: the patentdistribution across inventors is extremely skewed, as many inventors register one or a fewpatents, while a small number of inventors register many patents. To our knowledge, theprevious empirical literature has not discussed the different kinds of local innovation fromwhich patents may originate. A first contribution of this paper is therefore to document theissue. A second contribution is to investigate whether patents originating from differentscales of innovation are located in different cities. A third contribution - which constitutes themain scope of the paper - is to test whether the concentration of the activity of star inventorsis beneficial to the local productivity of other kinds of innovation - namely the ones led bymore occasional, and less prolific, inventors.

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Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0037.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0037
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  1. Natarajan Balasubramanian & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2011. "What Happens When Firms Patent? New Evidence from U.S. Economic Census Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 126-146, February.
  2. Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Determinants of Knowledge Flows and Their Effect on Innovation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 308-322, May.
  3. Rachel Griffith & Sokbae Lee & John Van Reenen, 2008. "Is Distance Dying at Last?," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 240, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. repec:rim:rimwps:36-08 is not listed on IDEAS
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