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Measuring Technological Innovation over the Long Run

Author

Listed:
  • Bryan Kelly
  • Dimitris Papanikolaou
  • Amit Seru
  • Matt Taddy

Abstract

We use textual analysis of high-dimensional data from patent documents to create new indicators of technological innovation. We identify significant patents based on textual similarity of a given patent to previous and subsequent work: these patents are distinct from previous work but are related to subsequent innovations. Our measure of patent significance is predictive of future citations and correlates strongly with measures of market value. We identify breakthrough innovations as the most significant patents – those in the right tail of our measure – to construct indices of technological change at the aggregate, sectoral, and firm level. Our technology indices span two centuries (1840-2010) and cover innovation by private and public firms, as well as non-profit organizations and the US government. These indices capture the evolution of technological waves over a long time span and are strong predictors of productivity at the aggregate, sectoral, and firm level.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan Kelly & Dimitris Papanikolaou & Amit Seru & Matt Taddy, 2018. "Measuring Technological Innovation over the Long Run," NBER Working Papers 25266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25266
    Note: CF EFG PR DAE
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    Cited by:

    1. Max Nathan & Anna Rosso, 2017. "Innovative events," Development Working Papers 429, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 08 Apr 2019.
    2. Benos, Nikos & Tsiachtsiras, Georgios, 2019. "Innovation and Income Inequality: World Evidence," MPRA Paper 92050, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Schnitzer, Monika & Watzinger, Martin, 2019. "Standing on the shoulders of science," CEPR Discussion Papers 13766, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • N1 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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