NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Mort Webster

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Working Papers

January 2012Technology Variation vs. R&D Uncertainty: What Matters Most for Energy Patent Success?
with David Popp, Nidhi Santen, Karen Fisher-Vanden: w17792
R&D is an uncertain activity with highly skewed outcomes. Nonetheless, most recent empirical studies and modeling estimates of the potential of technological change focus on the average returns to research and development (R&D) for a composite technology and contain little or no information about the distribution of returns to R&D—which could be important for capturing the range of costs associated with climate change mitigation policies—by individual technologies. Through an empirical study of patent citation data, this paper adds to the literature on returns to energy R&D by focusing on the behavior of the most successful innovations for six energy technologies, allowing us to determine whether uncertainty or differences in technologies matter most for success. We highlight two key re...

Published: “Technology Variation vs. R&D Uncertainty: What Matters Most for Energy Patent Success?” Resources and Energy Economics, November 2013, 35(4), 505-533 (with Nidhi Santen, Karen Fisher-Vanden and Mort Webster).

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