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Explaining the Patenting Propensity: A Regional Analysis using EPO-OECD Data

  • Cozza, Claudio
  • Schettino, Francesco

The aim of this paper is to study empirically the patenting propensity at the European regional level. To do that we use the OECD-REGPAT dataset, that includes patent applications made by European inventors and applicants to EPO in the time-span 1978-2011. Explanatory variables on R&D and human capital are extracted from EUROSTAT and OECD databases. In order to reduce biases we use patent applications by region of the inventor, as its linkage to the territory is stronger than using the region of the applicant. Analyzing the data, we sketch out the existence of a deep uneven distribution both in patent applications and R&D expenditure. Richer regions in terms of GDP – generally those of central-western Europe – show higher level of both private and public R&D expenditure as well as a consistent share of the whole European patent applications in last decades. As a consequence, eastern (and to a minor extent southern) European regions report harmful outcomes in terms of both variables. Thus, following the approach of Cincera (1997, 2005) we explain the determinants of patenting propensity using a regional panel data. Our main results substantially confirm the key role of R&D expenditure on patenting activity: mainly the business-enterprises component, but also the government sector one. Moreover, human capital variables – such as the share of human resources employed in high tech industries, and the number of highly qualified workers in science and technology occupations – show a positive relationship with patenting propensity. On the other side, average enterprise size seems not to play a determinant role on patent applications.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 45084.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:45084
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  1. Hall, Bronwyn & Link, Albert & Scott, John, 2010. "Universities as Research Partners," Working Papers 10-9, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
  2. Francesco Schettino, 2007. "Us Patent Citations Data And Industrial Knowledge Spillovers," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(8), pages 595-633.
  3. Michele Cincera, 2005. "The link between firms' R&D by type of activity and source of funding and the decision to patent," DULBEA Working Papers 05-10.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Nicolas van Zeebroeck & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2011. "The vulnerability of patent value determinants," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/60730, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Narin, Francis & Breitzman, Anthony, 1995. "Inventive productivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 507-519, July.
  6. Bronwyn H. Hall & Grid Thoma & Salvatore Torrisi, 2007. "The market value of patents and R&D: Evidence from European firms," NBER Working Papers 13426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
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