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Patents, Citations and Innovations: Tracing the Links

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  • Manuel Trajtenberg

Abstract

The goal is to tackle anew the main problems encountered in using patent data in economic research, namely, the large variance in the value of patents, and the difficulties in matching patents with economic categories. The first is addressed with the aid of patent citations, the second with computerized search techniques for large databases. The proposed solutions are applied to the case of Computed Tomography (CT) Scanners, a pathbreaking innovation in medical technology. The main findings are that patents weighted by citations are highly correlated with the value of innovations, and that important innovations generate further innovative activity (R&D), and hence bring about down-the-line patents.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Trajtenberg, 1987. "Patents, Citations and Innovations: Tracing the Links," NBER Working Papers 2457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2457 Note: PR
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carpenter, Mark P. & Narin, Francis, 1983. "Validation study: Patent citations as indicators of science and foreign dependence," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 180-185.
    2. Lieberman, Marvin B., 1987. "Patents, learning by doing, and market structure in the chemical processing industries," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 257-276.
    3. Edwin Mansfield & John Rapoport & Anthony Romeo & Samuel Wagner & George Beardsley, 1977. "Social and Private Rates of Return from Industrial Innovations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(2), pages 221-240.
    4. Gort, Michael & Wall, Richard A, 1986. "The Evolution of Technologies and Investment in Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 741-757, September.
    5. Pakes, Ariel & Schankerman, Mark A., 1978. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Knowledge, Research Gestation Labs, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," Working Papers 78-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    6. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-784, July.
    7. Frederic Scherer, 1984. "Using Linked Patent and R&D Data to Measure Interindustry Technology Flows," NBER Chapters,in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 417-464 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bresnahan, Timothy F, 1986. "Measuring the Spillovers from Technical Advance: Mainframe Computers inFinancial Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 742-755, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cui, Jingbo & Li, Xiaogang, "undated". "Innovation and Firm Productivity: Evidence from the US Patent Data," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235603, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. C. Gay & C. Le Bas & P. Patel & K. Touach, 2005. "The determinants of patent citations: an empirical analysis of French and British patents in the US," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 339-350.
    3. C. Gay & C. Le Bas, 2005. "Uses without too many abuses of patent citations or the simple economics of patent citations as a measure of value and flows of knowledge," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(5), pages 333-338.
    4. Wadhwa, Anu & Phelps, Corey & Kotha, Suresh, 2016. "Corporate venture capital portfolios and firm innovation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 95-112.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:96:y:2013:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0930-3 is not listed on IDEAS

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