NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Rise of International Co-invention

Lee Branstetter, Guangwei Li, Francisco Veloso


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy, Adam Jaffe and Benjamin Jones, editors
Conference held August 2-3, 2013
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press

The rapid rise of India and China as innovating nations seems to contradict conventional views of the economic growth and development process. India and China are still at the early stages of development, yet advanced nations are granting rapidly growing numbers of patents to inventors based in these countries. Our analysis of U.S. patents shows that a majority of these patents are granted to local inventor teams working for foreign multinationals. An important fraction of these patents incorporate direct intellectual inputs from researchers outside India or China, a trend that we characterize as "international co-invention." As such, the international patenting surge of India and China does not represent a challenge to traditional models of growth and development, so much as it represents a move toward an expanded international division of labor within global R&D networks. We explore these issues with a focus on multinational R&D in India.

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This paper was revised on July 21, 2014

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