Do Patents Weaken the Localization of Innovations? Evidence from World's Fairs
Leonard N. Stern School of Business - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
October 23, 2010
This paper takes advantage of an exogenous shift towards patenting in chemicals to test whether patents contribute to the geographic diffusion of innovations. Data on U.S. innovations that were exhibited at four world fairs between 1851 and 1915 suggest that innovative activity became less localized after patenting rates increased. These changes cannot be explained by changes in the localization of chemical production or economy-wide changes in the localization of innovations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: Innovation, Patents, Knowledge Spillovers, Localization, Economic History
JEL Classification: O30, O31, O34, N00, N13, R12
Date posted: November 1, 2006 ; Last revised: February 1, 2014