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Value of invention, prolific inventor productivity and mobility : evidence from five countries, 1975-2002

  • William Latham

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19711, USA)

  • Christian Le Bas

    ()

    (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)

  • Dmitry Volodin

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19711, USA)

The aim of this paper is to provide new insights into (1) the determinants of the value of inventions and (2) the role that mobility plays in the behavior of prolific inventors, whom we identify based on the number of patents exceeding a threshold of productivity. We examine mobility in two dimensions : from firm to firm (inter-firm) and from one technical field to another. We exploit data on patents filed by inventors from five countries (France, the UK, Germany, the US and Japan) in the US Patent and Trademark office during the period from 1975 to 2002. From our regressions we obtain a rich set of results. In particular we show that : (1) as predicted by evolutionary theory, inventor productivity is a positive determinant of invention value, (2) inter-firm mobility is a consistently positive determinant of productivity and (3) technological mobility is a negative determinant. The last implies that the more specialized an inventor is, the higher his productivity is.

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Paper provided by Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure in its series Working Papers with number 1133.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:gat:wpaper:1133
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  1. Hoisl, Karin, 2006. "Tracing Mobile Inventors – The Causality between Inventor Mobility and Inventor Productivity," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 1260, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  2. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2003. "Localized Technological Change," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200305, University of Turin.
  3. Richard N. Langlois, 2000. "Knowledge, Consumption, and Endogenous Growth," Working papers 2000-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  4. Ajay Agrawal & Iain Cockburn & John McHale, 2003. "Gone But Not Forgotten: Labor Flows, Knowledge Spillovers, and Enduring Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 9950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Harhoff, Dietmar & Hoisl, Karin, 2007. "Institutionalized incentives for ingenuity--Patent value and the German Employees' Inventions Act," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1143-1162, October.
  6. Hoisl, Karin, 2006. "Does Mobility Increase the Productivity of Inventors?," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 2023, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  7. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Maximo Torero, 2002. "Labor Mobility from Academe to Commerce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 629-660, July.
  8. Karin Hoisl, 2009. "Does mobility increase the productivity of inventors?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 212-225, April.
  9. William Latham & Christian Le Bas, 2010. "Causes, Consequences and Dynamics of 'Complex' Distributions of Technological Activities: The Case of Prolific Inventors," Working Papers 10-02, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  10. Claudine Gay & William Latham & Christian Le Bas, 2008. "Collective Knowledge, Prolific Inventors And The Value Of Inventions: An Empirical Study Of French, German And British Patents In The Us, 1975-1999," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1-2), pages 5-22.
  11. William Latham & Dmitry Volodin & Christian Le Bas & Riad Bouklia Hassane, 2011. "Interregional mobility, productivity and the value of patents for prolific inventors in France, Germany and the U.K," Working Papers 11-06, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
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