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The Industry R&D Survey – Patent Database Link Project


  • William R. Kerr

    () (Harvard Business School, Entrepreneurial Management Unit)

  • Shihe Fu

    () (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, People’s Republic of China)


This paper details the construction of a firm-year panel dataset combining the NBER Patent Dataset with the Industry R&D Survey conducted by the Census Bureau and National Science Foundation. The developed platform offers an unprecedented view of the R&D-to-patenting innovation process and a close analysis of the strengths and limitations of the Industry R&D Survey. The files are linked through a name-matching algorithm customized for uniting the firm names to which patents are assigned with the firm names in Census Bureau’s SSEL business registry. Through the Census Bureau’s file structure, this R&D platform can be linked to the operating performances of each firm’s establishments, further facilitating innovation-to-productivity studies.

Suggested Citation

  • William R. Kerr & Shihe Fu, 2006. "The Industry R&D Survey – Patent Database Link Project," Harvard Business School Working Papers 07-031, Harvard Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:07-031

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, January.
    2. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
    3. William R. Kerr, 2007. "The Ethnic Composition of US Inventors," Harvard Business School Working Papers 08-006, Harvard Business School.
    4. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    5. Cohen, Wesley M & Levin, Richard C & Mowery, David C, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-examination," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 543-565, June.
    6. James D Adams & Adam B Jaffe, 1994. "The Span of the Effect of R&D in the Firm and Industry," Working Papers 94-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. William R. Kerr, 2008. "Ethnic Scientific Communities and International Technology Diffusion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 518-537, August.
    8. Levin, Richard C & Cohen, Wesley M & Mowery, David C, 1985. "R&D Appropriability, Opportunity, and Market Structure: New Evidence on Some Schumpeterian Hypotheses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 20-24, May.
    9. Manuel Trajtenberg & Adam B. Jaffe & Michael S. Fogarty, 2000. "Knowledge Spillovers and Patent Citations: Evidence from a Survey of Inventors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 215-218, May.
    10. James D Adams & Suzanne Peck, 1994. "A Guide To R&D Data At The Center For Economic Studies U.S. Bureau Of THe Census," Working Papers 94-9, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    11. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard C. Levin & David C. Mowery, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-Examination," NBER Working Papers 2205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Brian S. Silverman, 1999. "Technological Resources and the Direction of Corporate Diversification: Toward an Integration of the Resource-Based View and Transaction Cost Economics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(8), pages 1109-1124, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. William Kerr & Shihe Fu, 2008. "The survey of industrial R&D—patent database link project," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 173-186, April.
    2. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim, 2010. "Characteristics of the Top R&D Performing Firms in the U.S.: Evidence from the Survey of Industrial R&D," Working Papers 10-33, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

    More about this item


    innovation; research and development; patents; scientists; technology;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • 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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