High on Creativity: The Impact of Social Liberalization Policies on Innovation

44 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2016 Last revised: 22 Jan 2018

Keyvan Vakili

London Business School

Laurina Zhang

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business

Date Written: December 9, 2016

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of the social context on the rate and direction of innovation. We propose that social liberal environments increase the rate of innovation of incumbent inventors by lowering the cost of social interactions. We examine the impact of two social liberalization policies (legalization of same-sex civil unions and medical marijuana) and one anti-liberalization policy (passage of abortion restrictions) on patenting. We find that inventors residing in regions that implement social liberal policies are more likely to form new collaborations and increase patenting. Patents filed after social liberal policies are more likely to become breakthrough innovations and be built upon novel technological recombinations. Social liberalization policies increase the rate of entrance into inventorship but do not attract top inventors from other regions.

Keywords: Innovation, Social Context, Social Policies, Patents, Creativity

Suggested Citation

Vakili, Keyvan and Zhang, Laurina, High on Creativity: The Impact of Social Liberalization Policies on Innovation (December 9, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2883409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2883409

Keyvan Vakili (Contact Author)

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

Laurina Zhang

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://laurinazhang.wordpress.com/

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