Patents, Citations, and Innovations
Innovation and technological change, long recognized as the main drivers of long-term economic growth, are elusive notions that are difficult to conceptualize and even harder to measure in a consistent, systematic way. This book demonstrates the usefulness of patents and citations data as a window on the process of technological change and as a powerful tool for research on the economics of innovation. Patent records contain a wealth of information, including the inventors' identity, location, and employer, as well as the technological field of the invention. Patents also contain citation references to previous patents, which allow one to trace links across inventions.
The book lays out the conceptual foundations for such research and provides a range of interesting applications, such as examining the geographic pattern of knowledge spillovers and evaluating the impact of university and government patenting. It also describes statistical tools designed to handle methodological problems raised by the patent and citation processes. The book is accompanied by a set of auxiliary materials, including complete data on 3 million patents with more than 16 million citations and a range of author-devised measures of the importance, generality, and originality of patented innovations. This is available for download at http://mitpress.mit.edu/jaffecdcontents.
About the Authors
Adam B. Jaffe is Fred C. Hecht Professor in Economics and Dean of Arts and Sciences at Brandeis University.
Manuel Trajtenberg is Chair of the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at Tel Aviv University, Research Associate of the NBER, Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research in London, and Research Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research.
—Timothy F. Bresnahan, Professor of Economics, Stanford University
—Elhanan Helpman, Department of Economics, Harvard University, and The Eitan Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University
—F. M. Scherer, Professor Emeritus, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
—Nathan Rosenberg, Professor of Economics (Emeritus), Stanford University
—Martin Feldstein, President, National Bureau of Economic Research, and Professor of Economics, Harvard University
—Keith Pavitt, R. M. Phillips Professor of Science and Technology Policy, University of Sussex, England
—Ariel Pakes, Professor of Economics, Harvard University