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Inventor Data for Research on Migration and Innovation: A Survey and a Pilot

  • Stefano Breschi

    (CRIOS – Università Bocconi, Milan)

  • Francesco Lissoni

    (GREThA – Université Montesquieu, Bordeaux IV and CRIOS – Università Bocconi, Milan)

  • Gianluca Tarasconi

    (CRIOS – Università Bocconi, Milan)

This paper discusses the existing literature on migration and innovation, with special emphasis on empirical studies based on patent and inventor data. Other sources of micro-data are examined, too, for comparative purposes. A pilot database, based on patent filings at the European Patent Office is presented. It contains information on individual inventors, including their country of residence and of origin. Preliminary evidence suggests that immigrant inventors contribute to innovation not only in the US, but also in selected European countries, where they often rank among the most productive individuals. Data on returnee inventors to selected countries of origin suggest the phenomenon to be of limited scale, and highly subject to errors of measurement.

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Paper provided by World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division in its series WIPO Economic Research Working Papers with number 17.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wip:wpaper:17
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