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How the West Has Won: Regional and Industrial Inversion in U.S. Patent Activity

Wellesley College Working Paper No. 2002-09

21 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2003  

Daniel K. N. Johnson

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business

Amy Brown

Wellesley College - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2002

Abstract

While it is clear that there has been a "regional inversion" in American patent activity over the past 25 years (i.e. relative rise of the Northwest and Southwest at the expense of the traditional invention hotbeds of the Northeast and Midwest), the reason is still open to speculation. Intuition suggests that it can be explained by some combinaion of changing demographics and industrial composition. We introduce constant market share analysis (CMSA), typically used only in international trade theory, offering a new extention to this tool, and conclude that industrial shifts have accounted for almost half of the regional inversion. Regression results show how the West capitalized upon the shift using demographics and policy variables, whose importance vary with the planning horizon.

Keywords: invention, geography, clustering, regional inversion, constant market share analysis

JEL Classification: L0, O30, O38, R11, R12, R15

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Daniel K. N. and Brown, Amy, How the West Has Won: Regional and Industrial Inversion in U.S. Patent Activity (October 2002). Wellesley College Working Paper No. 2002-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=340441 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.340441

Daniel Kent Neil Johnson (Contact Author)

Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

14 E Cache La Poudre Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
United States
719-389-6654 (Phone)
719-389-6927 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty1.coloradocollege.edu/~djohnson

Amy Brown

Wellesley College - Department of Economics ( email )

106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States

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