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Same difference? Minority ethnic inventors, diversity and innovation in the UK

Nathan, Max (2015) Same difference? Minority ethnic inventors, diversity and innovation in the UK. Journal of Economic Geography, 15 (1). pp. 129-168. ISSN 1468-2702

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jeg/lbu006


Minority ethnic inventors play important roles in US innovation, especially in high-tech regions such as Silicon Valley. Do ‘ethnicity–innovation’ channels exist elsewhere? Ethnicity could influence innovation via production complementarities from diverse inventor communities, co-ethnic network externalities or individual ‘stars’. I explore these issues using new UK patents microdata and a novel name-classification system. UK minority ethnic inventors are spatially concentrated, as in the USA, but have different characteristics reflecting UK-specific geography and history. I find that the diversity of inventor communities helps raise individual patenting, with suggestive influence of East Asian-origin stars. Majority inventors may benefit from multiplier effects.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Author
Divisions: Spatial Economics Research Centre
What Works Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
T Technology > T Technology (General) > T201 Patents. Trademarks
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J1 - Demographic Economics > J15 - Economics of Minorities and Races; Non-labor Discrimination
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
R - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics > R1 - General Regional Economics > R11 - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, and Changes
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2014 08:30
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:14
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

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