A Survey of Empirical Evidence on Patents and Innovation
This report surveys the empirical literature from economics and related fields on patents and innovation. In particular, it reviews and synthesizes the empirical evidence on patents and first-generation innovation, the disclosure function of patents, and patents and follow-on innovation. The main results are summarized in fifteen charts.
This Science Policy Research Report was funded through NSF grant 1732544. I thank participants at the National Academy of Science Innovation Policy Forum “Workshop on Government Decisionmaking to Allocate Scientific Resources” and Gail Cohen, Wes Cohen, Stu Graham, Bronwyn Hall, Diana Hicks, Dick Nelson, Heidi Williams for their feedback and suggestions. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.