IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ssa/lemwps/2020-23.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Patterns of Innovation during the Industrial Revolution: a Reappraisal using a Composite Indicator of Patent Quality

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandro Nuvolari
  • Valentina Tartari
  • Matteo Tranchero

Abstract

The distinction between macro- and microinventions is at the core of recent debates on the Industrial Revolution. Yet, the empirical testing of this notion has remained elusive. We address this issue by introducing a new quality indicator for all patents granted in England in the period 1700-1850. Our findings indicate that macroinventions did not exhibit any specific time-clustering, while microinventions were correlated with the economic cycle. In addition, we also find that macroinventions were characterized by a labor-saving bias and were mostly introduced by professional engineers. These results suggest that Allen's and Mokyr's views of macroinventions, rather than conflicting, should be regarded as complementary.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Nuvolari & Valentina Tartari & Matteo Tranchero, 2020. "Patterns of Innovation during the Industrial Revolution: a Reappraisal using a Composite Indicator of Patent Quality," LEM Papers Series 2020/23, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2020/23
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.lem.sssup.it/WPLem/files/2020-23.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Petra Moser, 2005. "How Do Patent Laws Influence Innovation? Evidence from Nineteenth-Century World's Fairs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1214-1236, September.
    2. Sullivan, Richard J., 1989. "England's Age of invention: The acceleration of patents and patentable invention during the industrial revolution," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 424-452, October.
    3. Manuel Trajtenberg, 1990. "A Penny for Your Quotes: Patent Citations and the Value of Innovations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 172-187, Spring.
    4. Gerald Silverberg & Bart Verspagen, 2003. "Breaking the waves: a Poisson regression approach to Schumpeterian clustering of basic innovations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(5), pages 671-693, September.
    5. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-432, December.
    6. B. Zorina Khan, 2005. "The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development, 1790–1920," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number khan05-1, June.
    7. Zeev, Nadav Ben & Mokyr, Joel & van der Beek, Karine, 2017. "Flexible Supply of Apprenticeship in the British Industrial Revolution," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 208-250, March.
    8. Stephen Broadberry & Bishnupriya Gupta, 2009. "Lancashire, India, and shifting competitive advantage in cotton textiles, 1700–1850: the neglected role of factor prices1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(2), pages 279-305, May.
    9. Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Adam B. Jaffe, 2018. "Are patent fees effective at weeding out low‐quality patents?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 134-148, March.
    10. Gautam Ahuja & Curba Morris Lampert, 2001. "Entrepreneurship in the large corporation: a longitudinal study of how established firms create breakthrough inventions," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(6‐7), pages 521-543, June.
    11. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
    12. Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1990. "Are There Schumpeterian Waves of Innovations?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 81-92, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Industrial Revolution; Patents; Macroinventions; Microinventions;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2020/23. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/labssit.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.