, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 131–152 | Cite as

Exploring the quality of environmental technology in Europe: evidence from patent citations

  • Manuel Acosta
  • Daniel Coronado
  • Ana Fernández


In this paper we carry out an empirical analysis to address some questions concerning the production and quality of technology in environmental sectors. The methodology involves patents as a measure of the generation of new knowledge, and patent citations as a proxy for the quality of a technological invention. The sample contains more than 12,000 environmental European patents from firms and government institutions from 1998 to 2004. From our econometric analysis, we found that environmental patents applied by individual inventors present on average less quality that those applied by institutional inventors. The size of family patent is relevant to explain forward patent citation. Furthermore, patents coming from abroad (out of Europe), in particular with US and Japan priority, are more cited on average than local patents (with European priority). Lastly, the specialization in environmental fields of a patent plays a negative role in determining the frequency of forward citation.


Environmental Technology Patent Citation Environmental Innovation Patent Family Institutional Inventor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuel Acosta
    • 1
  • Daniel Coronado
    • 1
  • Ana Fernández
    • 1
  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y EmpresarialesUniversidad de CádizCadizSpain

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