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Why Don't Women Patent?

  • Hunt, Jennifer

    ()

    (Rutgers University)

  • Garant, Jean-Philippe

    ()

    (McGill University)

  • Herman, Hannah

    ()

    (McGill University)

  • Munroe, David J.

    ()

    (Columbia University)

We investigate women's underrepresentation among holders of commercialized patents: only 5.5% of holders of such patents are female. Using the National Survey of College Graduates 2003, we find only 7% of the gap in patenting rates is accounted for by women's lower probability of holding any science or engineering degree, because women with such a degree are scarcely more likely to patent than women without. Differences among those without a science or engineering degree account for 15%, while 78% is accounted for by differences among those with a science or engineering degree. For the latter group, we find that women's underrepresentation in engineering and in jobs involving development and design explain much of the gap.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6886.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6886
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  1. Jennifer Hunt, 2010. "Why Do Women Leave Science And Engineering?," Departmental Working Papers 2010-03, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  2. Basit Zafar, 2009. "College major choice and the gender gap," Staff Reports 364, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Kjersten Whittington & Laurel Smith-Doerr, 2005. "Gender and Commercial Science: Women’s Patenting in the Life Sciences," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 355-370, October.
  4. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2011. "Math or Science? Using Longitudinal Expectations Data to Examine the Process of Choosing a College Major," NBER Working Papers 16869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lisa D. Cook & Chaleampong Kongcharoen, 2010. "The Idea Gap in Pink and Black," NBER Working Papers 16331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Paula Stephan & Shiferaw Gurmu & Albert Sumell & Grant Black, 2007. "Who'S Patenting In The University? Evidence From The Survey Of Doctorate Recipients," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 71-99.
  7. Furman, Jeffrey L. & Porter, Michael E. & Stern, Scott, 2002. "The determinants of national innovative capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 899-933, August.
  8. Michael J. Boskin & Lawrence J. Lau, 2000. "Generalized Solow-Neutral Technical Progress and Postwar Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 8023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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