Department of Economics
University of Munich
80799 Munich, Germany
Institutional Affiliation: University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2018||Disclosure and Subsequent Innovation: Evidence from the Patent Depository Library Program|
with Jeffrey L. Furman, Martin Watzinger: w24660
How important is information disclosure through patents for subsequent innovation? Although disclosure is regarded as essential to the functioning of the patent system, legal scholars have expressed considerable skepticism about its value in practice. To adjudicate this issue, we examine the expansion of the USPTO Patent and Trademark Depository Library system between 1975 to 1997. Whereas the exclusion rights associated with patents are national in scope, the opening of these patent libraries during the pre-Internet era yielded regional variation in the costs to access the technical information (prior art) disclosed in patent documents. We find that after a patent library opens, local patenting increases by 17% relative to control regions that have Federal Depository Libraries. A number o...
|July 2015||Weak Markets, Strong Teachers: Recession at Career Start and Teacher Effectiveness|
with Marc Piopiunik, Martin R. West: w21393
How do alternative job opportunities affect teacher quality? We provide causal evidence on this question by exploiting business cycle conditions at career start as a source of exogenous variation in the outside options of potential teachers. Unlike prior research, we directly assess teacher quality with value-added measures of impacts on student test scores, using administrative data on 33,000 teachers in Florida public schools. Consistent with a Roy model of occupational choice, teachers entering the profession during recessions are significantly more effective in raising student test scores. Results are supported by placebo tests and not driven by differential attrition.