Martin Watzinger, Monika Schnitzer, 21 June 2019

The role of science is the subject of controversial debate in the academic literature and public discourse. This column studies US patents to establish three new facts about the relationship between science and the value of private-sector inventions. First, patents building on science are on average $2.9 million more valuable than patents unrelated to science. Second, the novelty of patents predicts their value in a similar way as their science content does. Third, science-based patents are more novel. Taken together, these observations show that science introduces new concepts that are valuable for marketplace inventions.

Sharon Belenzon, 03 July 2012

According to the received wisdom, innovation is the heart-and-soul of modern growth but incentives to innovate are prone to the free-rider problem. This column partly supports that view. Looking at over 1,000 US companies it shows that internal citations of a firm's patents have a positive effect on market value while external citations have a negative effect.

Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 10 December 2007

Patent applications are booming, but many seem to be of low quality and/or strategically manipulated to hide the real invention within a myriad of claims. This delays the patent-granting process and hinders the system's ultimate goal of balancing incentives for knowledge creation with knowledge dissemination. Here are some ideas on how to fix the problem.


CEPR Policy Research