Independent Invention During the Rise of the Corporate Economy in Britain and Japan

29 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2011

See all articles by Tom Nicholas

Tom Nicholas

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

Date Written: August 2011

Abstract

Independent inventors accounted for approximately half of all patents in Britain and Japan by 193'8 despite the rise of the corporate economy and the spread of industrial R&D. A mixture of patent renewal and historical citations data reveals that the quality of independent invention was high. Active markets for inventions created incentives for independents, especially in large cities like London and Tokyo, which dominated spatially. Alongside evidence for the US, the findings show that in countries with different patent systems and at varying stages of economic development, a key component of overall inventive activity originated from outside the boundaries of firms.

Suggested Citation

Nicholas, Tom, Independent Invention During the Rise of the Corporate Economy in Britain and Japan (August 2011). The Economic History Review, Vol. 64, Issue 3, pp. 995-1023, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1888863 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2010.00586.x

Tom Nicholas (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States

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