IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Returns to Inventors

  • Toivanen, Otto
  • Väänänen, Lotta

A key input to inventive activity is human capital. Hence it is important to understand the monetary incentives of inventors. We estimate the effect of patented inventions on individual earnings by linking data on U.S. patents and their inventors to Finnish employer-employee data. Returns are heterogeneous: Inventors get a temporary reward of 3% of annual earnings for a patent grant and for highly-cited patents a longer-lasting premium of 30% in earnings three years later. Similar medium-term premia accrue to inventors who initially hold the patent rights, although they forego earnings at the time of the grant.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7744.

in new window

Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7744
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  2. Fredrik Andersson & Matthew Freedman & John C. Haltiwanger & Julia Lane & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2006. "Reaching for the Stars: Who Pays for Talent in Innovative Industries?," NBER Working Papers 12435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lemieux, Thomas & MacLeod, W. Bentley & Parent, Daniel, 2007. "Performance Pay and Wage Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 2850, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
  5. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209, November.
  6. Saul Lach & Mark Schankerman, 2007. "Incentives and invention in universities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3725, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Jinyoung Kim & Sangjoon John Lee & Gerald Marschke, 2007. "Research Scientist Productivity and Firm Size: Evidence from Panel Data on Inventors," Discussion Paper Series 0708, Institute of Economic Research, Korea University.
  8. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
  9. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  10. Aghion, P. & Tirole, J., 1993. "On the Management of Innovation," Working papers 93-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Bengt Holmstrom, 1997. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1205, David K. Levine.
  12. Lanjouw, Jean Olson, 1998. "Patent Protection in the Shadow of Infringement: Simulation Estimations of Patent Value," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 671-710, October.
  13. Naomi R. Lamoreaux & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2005. "The Decline of the Independent Inventor: A Schumpterian Story?," NBER Working Papers 11654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. David Card, 2000. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," NBER Working Papers 7769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Imran Rasul & Iwan Barankay & Orana Bandiera, 2005. "Social preferences and the response to incentives: Evidence from personnel data," Natural Field Experiments 00212, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
  17. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Market Value and Patent Citations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 16-38, Spring.
  18. Manuel Trajtenberg & Gil Shiff & Ran Melamed, 2006. "The "Names Game": Harnessing Inventors' Patent Data for Economic Research," NBER Working Papers 12479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Josh Lerner & Julie Wulf, 2007. "Innovation and Incentives: Evidence from Corporate R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 634-644, November.
  20. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
  21. Van Reenen, John, 1996. "The Creation and Capture of Rents: Wages and Innovation in a Panel of U.K. Companies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 195-226, February.
  22. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin, 2006. "Institutionalized Incentives for Ingenuity – Patent Value and the German Employees’ Inventions Act," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 1262, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  23. Scott Stern, 2004. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 835-853, June.
  24. Ulrich Kaiser & Hans Christian Kongsted & Thomas Rønde, 2008. "Labor Mobility and Patenting Activity," CAM Working Papers 2008-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7744. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.