How effective are patents really?

Today, an interesting NBER working paper by Deepak Hegde from NYU Stern and coauthors got published:

We provide evidence on the value of patents to startups by leveraging the random assignment of applications to examiners with different propensities to grant patents. Using unique data on all first-time applications filed at the U.S. Patent Office since 2001, we find that startups that win the patent “lottery” by drawing lenient examiners have, on average, 55% higher employment growth and 80% higher sales growth five years later. Patent winners also pursue more, and higher quality, follow-on innovation. Winning a first patent boosts a startup’s subsequent growth and innovation by facilitating access to funding from VCs, banks, and public investors.

Continue reading How effective are patents really?

How important is social mobility for innovation and growth?

Raj Chetty is a rising star in economics. After graduating from Harvard at the age of 23, he became an assistant professor at Berkeley, where he got tenure only four years later. Since then he won the John Bates Clark Medal in 2013 and moved to Stanford in 2015. His latest research is concerned with the question of upward mobility in society and how it affects innovation and economic growth. Continue reading How important is social mobility for innovation and growth?