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Shedding Light on Inventors' Returns to Patents

Author

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  • Domenico Depalo

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Sabrina Di Addario

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

We estimate individual returns to patents using a unique longitudinal administrative dataset on patents and earnings, following individuals and firms for 20 years (1987-2006). We find that inventors' wages steadily increase before patent applications are submitted to the European Patent Office, reach a peak around the time of submission and then decrease again. We also find that the applications that will eventually lead to a granted patent receive a greater wage increase than those that will not. Finally, we use an event study framework to distinguish among inventor-types and we find that the star-inventors" (the employees submitting at least three times in their life) receive a lasting wage premium, while the employees with one or two submissions stop receiving the premium after the application date, in line with the "unobserved ability" literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Domenico Depalo & Sabrina Di Addario, "undated". "Shedding Light on Inventors' Returns to Patents," Development Working Papers 375, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:375
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    File URL: https://www.dagliano.unimi.it/media/WP2014_375.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dorner, Matthias & Fryges, Helmut & Schopen, Kathrin, 2017. "Wages in high-tech start-ups – Do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18.
    2. Xavier Jaravel & Neviana Petkova & Alex Bell, 2018. "Team-Specific Capital and Innovation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(4-5), pages 1034-1073, April.
    3. Dorner, Matthias & Harhoff, Dietmar & Gaessler, Fabian & Hoisl, Karin & Poege, Felix, 2019. "Linked Inventor Biography Data 1980-2014 : (INV-BIO ADIAB 8014)," FDZ Datenreport. Documentation on Labour Market Data 201803_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Diego d'Andria, 2016. "Employed inventors, inter-firm mobility, bonus pay with multi-stage R&D processes, and optimal innovation policy," JRC Working Papers on Taxation & Structural Reforms 2016-02, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    5. Patrick Kline & Neviana Petkova & Heidi Williams & Owen Zidar, 2019. "Who Profits from Patents? Rent-Sharing at Innovative Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(3), pages 1343-1404.
    6. Alexander M. Bell & Raj Chetty & Xavier Jaravel & Neviana Petkova & John Van Reenen, 2019. "Do Tax Cuts Produce More Einsteins? The Impacts of Financial Incentives vs. Exposure to Innovation on the Supply of Inventors," NBER Working Papers 25493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Benos, Nikos & Tsiachtsiras, Georgios, 2018. "Innovation and Inequality: World Evidence," MPRA Paper 89217, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Akcigit, Ufuk & Grigsby, John & Nicholas, Tom, 2017. "The Rise of American Ingenuity: Innovation and Inventors of the Golden Age," CEPR Discussion Papers 11755, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. d’Andria, D. & Savin, I., 2018. "A Win-Win-Win? Motivating innovation in a knowledge economy with tax incentives," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 38-56.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Patents; Wages; Incentives; Inventors; Performance pay; Return;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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