Engineer/Scientist Careers: Patents, Online Profiles, and Misclassification Bias

61 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2014

See all articles by Chunmian Ge

Chunmian Ge

South China University of Technology

Ke-Wei Huang

National University of Singapore - Department of Information Systems

Ivan P. L. Png

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 27, 2014

Abstract

Through an inventor survey, we find substantial error in tracking mobility of engineers and scientists by patents. These errors cause misclassification of mobility -- false positives (wrongly recording change of employer), and false negatives (failing to record change of employer). Errors are higher among inventors with shorter patent careers.

Econometric theory shows that misclassification of the dependent variable causes systematic bias in regression estimates (not merely attenuation). We introduce LinkedIn as a more accurate source of career data. Taking LinkedIn as a benchmark, the rate of false positives in patent measures of mobility is 12 percent, while the rate of false negatives is 83 percent.

Measuring mobility by LinkedIn, we investigate the effect of aspects of human capital previously found to affect mobility. One previous finding is robust: that mobility is higher among Silicon Valley inventors than those elsewhere. Other findings are sensitive to sample or misclassification. We interpret our results as the outcome of targeted retention of human capital.

Keywords: Engineer/scientist careers; patents; LinkedIn; misclassification

JEL Classification: O32

Suggested Citation

Ge, Chunmian and Huang, Ke-Wei and Png, Ivan P. L., Engineer/Scientist Careers: Patents, Online Profiles, and Misclassification Bias (November 27, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2531477 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2531477

Chunmian Ge

South China University of Technology ( email )

School of Business Administration
South China University of Technology
Guangzhou, Guangdong 510640
China

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/gechunmian/

Ke-Wei Huang

National University of Singapore - Department of Information Systems ( email )

COM2, 04-18
Singapore 117543
Singapore
6516-2786 (Phone)
6779-7365 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~huangkw/

Ivan P. L. Png (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

Singapore, 117543
Singapore
+65 6516-6807 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/iplpng/

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

Paper statistics

Downloads
190
Abstract Views
1,677
rank
154,702
PlumX Metrics