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The inventor balance and the functional specialization in global inventive activities

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

Author(s)

Luca Savorelli, Lucio Picci

School/Research organisations

Abstract

We study the functional specialization whereby some countries contribute relatively more inventors vs. organizations in the production of inventions at a global scale. We propose a conceptual framework to explain this type of functional specialization, which posits the presence of feedbacks between two distinct sub-systems, each one providing inventors and organizations. We quantify the phenomenon by means of a new metric, the “inventor balance”, which we compute using patent data. We show that the observed imbalances, which are often conspicuous, are determined by several factors: the innovativeness of a country relative to its level of economic development, relative factor endowments, the degree of technological specialization and, last, cultural traits. We argue that the “inventor balance” is a useful indicator for policy makers, and its routine analysis could lead to better informed innovation policies.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of St Andrews
Pages1-41
Number of pages41
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2015

Publication series

NameSchool of Economics & Finance Discussion Paper
PublisherUniversity of St Andrews
No.1502
ISSN (Print)0962-4031
ISSN (Electronic)2055-303X

    Research areas

  • Patents, Inventor balance, Inventor criterion, Applicant criterion, Internationalization of R&D, Specialization

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ID: 194148542

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