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Selection Bias in Innovation Studies. A Simple Test

  • Gaétan de Rassenfosse

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia, The University of Melbourne)

  • Anja Schoen

    (Technische Universität München)

  • Annelies Wastyn

    (Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation, KU Leuven)

The study of the innovative output of organizations often relies on a count of patents filed at one single office of reference such as the European Patent Office (EPO). Yet, not all organizations file their patents at the EPO, raising the specter of a selection bias. Using novel datasets of the whole population of patents by Belgian firms and German universities, we show that the single-office count results in a selection bias that affects econometric estimates of invention production functions. We propose a methodology to evaluate whether estimates that rely on the single-office count are affected by a selection bias.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2013n08.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2013n08
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