Inventive Activity in Early Industrial America: Evidence from Patent Records, 1790 - 1846

62 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2004

See all articles by Kenneth L. Sokoloff

Kenneth L. Sokoloff

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 1988

Abstract

A sample of patent records from the United States between 1790 and 1846 is employed to study the patterns in inventive activity. Patenting was pro-cyclical, and yet began to grow rapidly with the interruptions in foreign trade that preceded the War of 1812. A strong association between patenting and proximity to navigable waterways is also demonstrated. Although the importance of specific mechanisms remains unclear, both the temporal and cross-sectional evidence imply that inventive activity was positively related to the growth of markets during early industrialization.

Suggested Citation

Sokoloff, Kenneth L., Inventive Activity in Early Industrial America: Evidence from Patent Records, 1790 - 1846 (September 1988). NBER Working Paper No. w2707. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=307864

Kenneth L. Sokoloff (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 951477
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States
310-825-4249,310-825-1011 (Phone)
310-825-9528 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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