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Key inventors, teams and firm performance: The Italian case

Mauro Rota (), Francesco Schettino () and Luca Spinesi ()

Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 2017, vol. 42, issue C, 13-25

Abstract: This paper investigates the existence and nature of knowledge-spillovers at the micro-level and, in turn, the capacity of firms to absorb new ideas generated in R&D laboratories. It evaluates the merits for a firm of attracting or retaining “key” inventors, or assembling a wide team of inventors. First, using the EPO-OECD data, we identify “key” and “normal” inventors by means of the Hill’s estimator. Then, we test the hypothesis that the presence of one “key” inventor in a firm’s R&D laboratory would have a positive effect on the Italian firms output. Our results are threefold: 1) the patent portfolio positively affects the value of production; 2) the simple presence of “key” inventors in a R&D laboratory does not significantly affect the output; 3) for a given number of patent applications by firm, a less concentrated patents distribution across inventors employed in the same R&D laboratory makes a positive impact on the production.

Keywords: Patents; Inventive productivity; Firm performance; Hill’s estimator (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O31 O32 L25 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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