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Education and Invention

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  • Toivanen, Otto
  • Väänänen, Lotta

Abstract

Modern growth theory puts invention on the center stage. Inventions are created by individuals, raising the question: can we increase number of inventors? To answer this question, we study the causal effect of M.Sc. engineering education on invention, using data on U.S. patents’ Finnish inventors and the distance to the nearest technical university as an instrument. We find a positive effect of engineering education on the propensity to patent, and a negative OLS bias. Our counterfactual calculation suggests that establishing 3 new technical universities resulted in a 20% increase in the number of USPTO patents by Finnish inventors.

Suggested Citation

  • Toivanen, Otto & Väänänen, Lotta, 2011. "Education and Invention," CEPR Discussion Papers 8537, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8537
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jung, Taehyun & Ejermo, Olof, 2014. "Demographic patterns and trends in patenting: Gender, age, and education of inventors," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 110-124.
    2. repec:nbr:nberch:13934 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. William F. Maloney & Felipe Valencia Caicedo, 2017. "Engineering Growth: Innovative Capacity and Development in the Americas," CESifo Working Paper Series 6339, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Aaron Chatterji, 2017. "Innovation and American K-12 Education," NBER Working Papers 23531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Goldbach, Stefan, 2012. "Innovation and education: Is there a "nerd effect"?," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 210, Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Law and Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ability bias; citations; education; engineers; growth; innovation; invention; inventors; patents;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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