IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Measuring the "Ideas" Production Function: Evidence from International Patent Output

  • Michael E. Porter
  • Scott Stern
Registered author(s):

    This paper estimates the parameters of the ideas' production function central to recent models of economic growth. We do so by evaluating the determinants of international' patenting rates across the OECD, where an international patent is one granted by the U.S. patent office to a foreign establishment. Taking advantage of variation in the flow of ideas produced by different countries over time, we provide evidence for three main findings. First, at the level of the production of international patents, country-level R&D productivity increases proportionally with the stock of ideas already discovered, a key parametric restriction associated with the Romer model of ideas-driven growth (Romer, 1990; Jones, 1995). Second, we find that ideas productivity in a given country is constant or declining in the worldwide stock of ideas. Ideas production by other countries raises the bar for producing new-to-the-world technology domestically, outweighing the positive effects of international knowledge spillovers. Finally, ideas productivity is concave in the size of the R&D workforce and the linkage between ideas production and overall productivity growth is small. These results suggest that while the parametric restrictions required to generate endogenous technological change may be satisfied for individual economies, the growth rate associated with such effects may be modest. There seems to be a gap between the the sustained production of ideas by advanced economies and the ability to translate ideas into measured productivity growth.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7891.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7891.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: Sep 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7891
    Note: IO PR
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Peter Pedroni, 1999. "Critical Values for Cointegration Tests in Heterogeneous Panels with Multiple Regressors," Department of Economics Working Papers 2000-02, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    3. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
    4. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
    5. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Wolfgang Keller, 1997. "Trade and the Transmission of Technology," Development and Comp Systems 9707001, EconWPA.
    7. Eaton, J. & Kortum, S., 1995. "Trade in Ideas: Patenting and Productivity onn the OECD," Papers 34, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    8. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1998. "International Knowledge Flows: Evidence from Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 6507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "International R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 859-887, May.
    10. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
    11. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2135, David K. Levine.
    12. Chihwa Kao & Min-Hsien Chiang, 1999. "On the Estimation and Inference of a Cointegrated Regression in Panel Data," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 2, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    13. Wolfgang Keller, 1997. "Trade and Transmission of Technology," NBER Working Papers 6113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
    15. Romer, Paul, 1994. "New goods, old theory, and the welfare costs of trade restrictions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 5-38, February.
    16. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "R&D, Patents, and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril84-1, September.
    18. Samuel S. Kortum, 1997. "Research, Patenting, and Technological Change," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1389-1420, November.
    19. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A & Romer, Paul M, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-55, May.
    20. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1999. "International Technology Diffusion: Theory and Measurement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 537-70, August.
    21. Bental, Benjamin & Peled, Dan, 1996. "The Accumulation of Wealth and the Cyclical Generation of New Technologies: A Search Theoretic Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(3), pages 687-718, August.
    22. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
    23. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Park, Walter G, 1995. "International R&D Spillovers and OECD Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(4), pages 571-91, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7891. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.