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Stars and comets: an exploration of the patent universe

Menon, Carlo (2009) Stars and comets: an exploration of the patent universe. SERC Discussion Papers (SERCDP0037). Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC), London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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The analysis of patent and citation data has become a popular source of evidence on localized knowledge spillovers and innovation. Nevertheless, an aspect has been overlooked: the patent distribution across inventors is extremely skewed, as many inventors register one or a few patents, while a small number of inventors register many patents. To our knowledge, the previous empirical literature has not discussed the different kinds of local innovation from which patents may originate. A first contribution of this paper is therefore to document the issue. A second contribution is to investigate whether patents originating from different scales of innovation are located in different cities. A third contribution - which constitutes the main scope of the paper - is to test whether the concentration of the activity of star inventors is beneficial to the local productivity of other kinds of innovation - namely the ones led by more occasional, and less prolific, inventors.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2009 Carlo Menon
Divisions: Spatial Economics Research Centre
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General) > T201 Patents. Trademarks
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2011 11:12
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 00:24

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