Economics at your fingertips  

Geographical patterns in US inventive activity 1977–1998: The “regional inversion” was underestimated

Carolina Castaldi and Bart Los

Research Policy, 2017, vol. 46, issue 7, 1187-1197

Abstract: Towards the end of the previous century, the geography of US inventive activity changed drastically. The old hotbeds of invention (the Northeast and Midwest) lost much of their prominence, and rates of invention in Western states grew considerably. In this paper, we argue that this well-known “regional inversion” has been underestimated. We arrive at this conclusion by addressing an important concern regarding the use of raw patent counts in the previous literature: raw patent counts do not tell much about inventive performance, since the importance of patents in terms of their impact on future technological and economic developments varies much. We focus on “superstar” patents, which are disproportionally important. We identify these employing a statistical regularity in citation patterns. We find that the West did not only outpace the Northeast and Midwest in the numbers of patents produced, but also specialized much more in patents that “really matter”.

Keywords: Geography of invention; Regional inversion; Superstar inventions; United States of America (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

Research Policy is currently edited by M. Bell, B. Martin, W.E. Steinmueller, A. Arora, M. Callon, M. Kenney, S. Kuhlmann, Keun Lee and F. Murray

More articles in Research Policy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

Page updated 2019-08-24
Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:7:p:1187-1197