Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

Research, Patenting, and Technological Change

Samuel S. Kortum
Econometrica
Vol. 65, No. 6 (Nov., 1997), pp. 1389-1419
Published by: The Econometric Society
DOI: 10.2307/2171741
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2171741
Page Count: 31
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($10.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Research, Patenting, and Technological Change
Preview not available

Abstract

This paper develops a search-theoretic model of technological change that accounts for some puzzling trends in industrial research, patenting, and productivity growth. In the model, researchers sample from probability distributions of potential new production techniques. Past research generates a technological frontier representing the best techniques for producing each good in the economy. Technological breakthroughs, resulting in patents, become increasingly hard to find as the technological frontier advances. This explains why patenting has been roughly constant as research employment has risen sharply over the last forty years. Productivity is determined by the position of the technological frontier and hence by the stock of past research. If researchers sample from Pareto distributions, then productivity growth is proportional to the growth of the research stock. The Pareto specification accounts for why productivity growth has neither risen as research employment has grown nor fallen as patenting has failed to grow. The growth of research employment itself is driven, in equilibrium, by population growth. Calibrating the model's four parameters, the implied social return to research is over twenty percent.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
1389
    1389
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1390
    1390
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1391
    1391
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1392
    1392
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1393
    1393
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1394
    1394
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1395
    1395
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1396
    1396
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1397
    1397
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1398
    1398
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1399
    1399
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1400
    1400
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1401
    1401
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1402
    1402
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1403
    1403
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1404
    1404
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1405
    1405
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1406
    1406
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1407
    1407
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1408
    1408
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1409
    1409
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1410
    1410
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1411
    1411
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1412
    1412
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1413
    1413
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1414
    1414
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1415
    1415
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1416
    1416
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1417
    1417
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1418
    1418
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1419
    1419