Evaluating inventive activity: the cost of nineteenth-century UK patents and the fallibility of renewal data

C MacLeod, J Tann, J Andrew, J Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has long been recognized that counting patents offers a poor gauge of the extent and value of inventive activity, not least because the quality of patented inventions varies enormously. The Schankerman-Pakes model provides a valuable alternative gauge that utilizes the data from renewal fees which are regularly paid to keep a patent in force. This article suggests, however, that the model's application to nineteenth-century UK patents may underestimate the value of Victorian inventive activity because many patentees lacked the financial resources to implement the rational choice that the model assumes. Focusing on steam-engineering patents, it explores further problems with renewal data and the increasing rate of lapsed applications.
Translated title of the contributionEvaluating inventive activity: the cost of nineteenth-century UK patents and the fallibility of renewal data
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537 - 562
Number of pages26
JournalEconomic History Review
Volume56 (3)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Blackwell Synergy
Other: Contribution: first author, supervision of research

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