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Patent Citation Data in Social Science Research: Overview and Best Practices

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  • Adam B. Jaffe
  • Gaétan de Rassenfosse

Abstract

The last two decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in the use of patent citation data in social science research. Facilitated by digitization of the patent data and increasing computing power, a community of practice has grown up that has developed methods for using these data to: measure attributes of innovations such as impact and originality; to trace flows of knowledge across individuals, institutions and regions; and to map innovation networks. The objective of this paper is threefold. First, it takes stock of these main uses. Second, it discusses four pitfalls associated with patent citation data, related to office, time and technology, examiner, and strategic effects. Third, it highlights gaps in our understanding and offers directions for future research.

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  • Adam B. Jaffe & Gaétan de Rassenfosse, 2016. "Patent Citation Data in Social Science Research: Overview and Best Practices," NBER Working Papers 21868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21868
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    Cited by:

    1. Gary H. Jefferson & Renai Jiang & Lintong Li & Sam Zucker, 2017. "The role of research and ownership collaboration in generating patent quality: China-U.S comparisons," Working Papers 117, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    2. Autor, David & Dorn, David & Hanson, Gordon & Pisano, Gary & Shu, Pian, 2016. "Foreign Competition and Domestic Innovation: Evidence from U.S. Patents," CEPR Discussion Papers 11664, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Martin Kalthaus, 2016. "Knowledge recombination along the technology life cycle," Jena Economic Research Papers 2016-012, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    4. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:9:p:1533-1551 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Boeing, Philipp & Mueller, Elisabeth, 2016. "Measuring patent quality and national technological capacity in cross-country comparison," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-048, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:6:p:1084-1095 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Rong, Zhao & Wu, Xiaokai & Boeing, Philipp, 2017. "The effect of institutional ownership on firm innovation: Evidence from Chinese listed firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(9), pages 1533-1551.
    8. Stephan, Annegret & Schmidt, Tobias S. & Bening, Catharina R. & Hoffmann, Volker H., 2017. "The sectoral configuration of technological innovation systems: Patterns of knowledge development and diffusion in the lithium-ion battery technology in Japan," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 709-723.
    9. repec:eee:appene:v:211:y:2018:i:c:p:1282-1296 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Andreas Reinstaller & Peter Reschenhofer, 2017. "Using PageRank in the analysis of technological progress through patents: an illustration for biotechnological inventions," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 113(3), pages 1407-1438, December.
    11. Josh Lerner & Amit Seru, 2017. "The Use and Misuse of Patent Data: Issues for Corporate Finance and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 24053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Boeing, Philipp & Mueller, Elisabeth, 2016. "Measuring patent quality in cross-country comparison," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 145-147.
    13. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:9:p:1580-1594 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. David Popp, 2016. "From Science to Technology: The Value of Knowledge From Different Energy Research Institutions," NBER Working Papers 22573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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