Unpacking the Innovator-Inventor Gap: Evidence from Engineers

107 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2024 Last revised: 3 Apr 2024

See all articles by Colleen V. Chien

Colleen V. Chien

UC Berkeley School of Law

Jillian Grennan

University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, Institue for Business and Social Impact

Date Written: March 15, 2024

Abstract

Using detailed administrative and survey data from engineers, we provide insights into the processes that lead to patent filing. We document these processes' opt-in, competitive nature, and how firm dynamics and demographics shape them. Only one-third of engineers submit ideas for patenting, and just half of these lead to patent applications. Women are significantly less involved at each stage of the journey from innovator to named inventor, contributing to a larger ``innovator-inventor gap," which engineers perceive to be associated with ineffective management and culture. Analysis of citation patterns suggests that high-quality patents are lost in firms with larger gender gaps.

Keywords: Intellectual property, Innovation, Patents, Diversity, Innovators, Inventors, Engineers, Culture

JEL Classification: J16, J24, M14, M54, O31, O32, O34

Suggested Citation

Chien, Colleen V. and Grennan, Jillian, Unpacking the Innovator-Inventor Gap: Evidence from Engineers (March 15, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4721522 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4721522

Colleen V. Chien

UC Berkeley School of Law ( email )

302 JSP
2240 Piedmont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-664-5254 (Phone)

Jillian Grennan (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, Institue for Business and Social Impact ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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