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
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)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:7:p:1187-1197
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