Foreign Patenting in Germany, 1877-1932

27 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2010

See all articles by Jochen Streb

Jochen Streb

University of Mannheim

Harald Degner

University of Hohenheim

Date Written: October 15, 2010


In this paper, we use both patents’ individual life span and foreign patenting activities in Germany to identify the most valuable patents of the 21 most innovative countries (except for Germany) from the European Core, the European periphery and overseas between 1877 and 1932. Our empirical analysis reveals that important characteristics of the international distribution of foreign patents are time-invariant. In particular, the distribution of foreign patents across countries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was as highly skewed as it was in the late twentieth century – and even dominated by the same major research economies. Our analysis suggests that firms’ technological advantages were influenced both by exogenous local factors, such as the countries’ resource endowment, and by endogenous factors, such as the national education and research system or the countries’ actual stage of economic development.

Keywords: Foreign patents, international technology transfer, Germany

JEL Classification: N7, O31, O34

Suggested Citation

Streb, Jochen and Degner, Harald, Foreign Patenting in Germany, 1877-1932 (October 15, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Jochen Streb (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim ( email )

L7, 3-5
Mannheim, 68131

Harald Degner

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics