Do Overoptimistic Men Drive Creative Destruction? Evidence of Gendered Inventive Activity in Finland
65 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 8, 2017
This study extends the analysis of the "patenting gender gap" into design rights and utility model (UMs), which are alternative methods for protecting intellectual property (IP). The analysis is descriptive and uses registry data from the Finnish patent and registration office (PRH) covering the years 1982–2013. A persistent gender gap is found for all intellectual property rights (IPRs): women are inventors and designers only in a small share of filings. The gap has narrowed over time for national patent and design right filings but not for UM filings. It is found that, in comparison to men, women are relatively less often individual inventors or designers and more often members of inventor or designer teams. This is consistent with prior results in the literature concerning gender-specific personality characteristics: men tend to be more optimistic, overconfident, competitively inclined, and less risk-averse. Findings suggest that IPR gender gaps may, in addition to gender-specific educational choices, be driven by gender-specific personality characteristics. Policy implications are discussed.
Keywords: patent, utility model, design right, IPR, gender, personality, inventor team composition
JEL Classification: J16, O31, O32, O34
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