Eitan Berglas School of Economics
Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv, Israel
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2006||The "Names Game": Harnessing Inventors' Patent Data for Economic Research|
with Manuel Trajtenberg, Gil Shiff: w12479
The goal of this paper is to lay out a methodology and corresponding computer algorithms, that allow us to extract the detailed data on inventors contained in patents, and harness it for economic research. Patent data has long been used in empirical research in economics, and yet the information on the identity (i.e. the names and location) of the patents' inventors has seldom been deployed in a large scale, primarily because of the "who is who" problem: the name of a given inventor may be spelled differently across her/his patents, and the exact same name may correspond to different inventors (i.e. the "John Smith" problem). Given that there are over 2 million patents with 2 inventors per patent on average, the "who is who" problem applies to over 4 million "records", which is obviously t...
Published: Manuel Trajtenberg & Gil Shiff & Ran Melamed, 2009. "The "Names Game": Harnessing Inventors, Patent Data for Economic Research," Annals of Economics and Statistics, . citation courtesy of