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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2013n08
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/Email:


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  1. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan & Dernis, Hélène & Guellec, Dominique & Picci, Lucio & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2013. "The worldwide count of priority patents: A new indicator of inventive activity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 720-737.
  2. de Rassenfosse, Gaetan & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2009. "A policy insight into the R&D-patent relationship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 779-792, June.
  3. Saul Lach & Mark Schankerman, 2003. "Incentives and invention in universities," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  4. Nicolas van Zeebroeck, 2011. "The Puzzle of Patent Value Indicators," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60729, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "Filing strategies and patent value," Working Papers CEB 08-016.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Juan A. Correa, 2012. "Innovation and competition: An unstable relationship," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 160-166, 01.
  7. Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Frank Windmeijer, 1999. "Individual effects and dynamics in count data models," IFS Working Papers W99/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  9. Joaquín Azagra-Caro & Nicolas Carayol & Patrick Llerena, 2006. "Patent Production at a European Research University: Exploratory Evidence at the Laboratory Level," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 257-268, 03.
  10. Philippe Aghion & Nick Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 701-728, May.
  11. Thorwarth, Susanne & Kraft, Kornelius & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2008. "The Knowledge Production of 'R' and 'D'," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-046, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Griliches, Zvi, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  13. Richard Gilbert, 2006. "Looking for Mr. Schumpeter: Where Are We in the Competition-Innovation Debate?," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 159-215 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Stoneman, P, 1979. "Patenting Activity: A Re-evaluation of the Influence of Demand Pressures," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 385-401, June.
  15. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Applications to Poisson Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 701-20, May.
  16. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-32, Nov.-Dec..
  17. Yuichiro Uchida & Paul Cook, 2007. "Innovation and Market Structure in the Manufacturing Sector: An Application of Linear Feedback Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(4), pages 557-580, 08.
  18. Bruno Crepon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation, and Productivity: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 6696, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:fth:inseep:9833 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Crepon, B. & Duguet, E. & Mairesse, J., 1998. "Research Investment, Innovation and Productivity: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 98.15, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  21. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & van Reenen, John, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 529-54, July.
  22. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Cincera, Michele, 1997. "Patents, R&D, and Technological Spillovers at the Firm Level: Some Evidence from Econometric Count Models for Panel Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 265-80, May-June.
  24. Dirk Czarnitzki & Bernd Ebersberger & Andreas Fier, 2007. "The relationship between R&D collaboration, subsidies and R&D performance: Empirical evidence from Finland and Germany," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1347-1366.
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