Selection Bias in Innovation Studies: A Simple Test

30 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2012

See all articles by Gaétan de Rassenfosse

Gaétan de Rassenfosse

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Annelies Wastyn

KU Leuven - Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation

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Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

The study of the innovative output of firms often relies on a count of patents filed at one single office of reference such as the European Patent Office (EPO). Yet, not all firms file their patents at the EPO, raising the specter of a selection bias. Using a novel dataset of the whole population of patents by Belgian firms, we show that the single-office count results in a selection bias that affects econometric estimates of innovation production functions. We propose a methodology to evaluate whether estimates that rely on the single-office count are affected by a selection bias.

Keywords: innovation production function, patent, R&D, selection bias

JEL Classification: O31, C18, C52, C81

Suggested Citation

de Rassenfosse, Gaétan and Wastyn, Annelies, Selection Bias in Innovation Studies: A Simple Test (December 2011). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 12-012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2014681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2014681

Gaétan De Rassenfosse

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne ( email )

Station 5
Odyssea 1.04
1015 Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland

Annelies Wastyn (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Department of Managerial Economics, Strategy and Innovation ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000
Belgium

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