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International Knowledge Flows: Evidence from Patent Citation


  • Jaffe, A.B.
  • Trajtenberg, M.


This paper explores the patterns of citations among patents taken out by inventors in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany and Japan. We find that, (1) Patets assigned to the same firm are more likely to cit each other, and come sooner that other citations; (2) patents in the same patent class are approximately 100 times as likely to cite each other as patents from different patent classes, but there is not a strong time pattern to this effect; (3) patents whose investors reside in the same country are typically 30 to 80% more likely to cite each other than inventors from other countries, and these, and these citations come sooner, and (4) there are clear country-specific citation tendencies, e.g., Japanese citations typically come sooner than those of other countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1998. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence from Patent Citation," Papers 11-98, Tel Aviv.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:teavfo:11-98

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jaffe, Adam B & Fogarty, Michael S & Banks, Bruce A, 1998. "Evidence from Patents and Patent Citations on the Impact of NASA and Other Federal Labs on Commercial Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 183-205, June.
    2. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
    4. Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "International R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 859-887, May.
    5. David J. Teece, 2008. "Technology Transfer By Multinational Firms: The Resource Cost Of Transferring Technological Know-How," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Transfer And Licensing Of Know-How And Intellectual Property Understanding the Multinational Enterprise in the Modern World, chapter 1, pages 1-22 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1993, Volume 8, pages 15-86 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1996. "Trade in ideas Patenting and productivity in the OECD," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 251-278, May.
    10. Park, Walter G, 1995. "International R&D Spillovers and OECD Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(4), pages 571-591, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • 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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