The Cliometric Study of Innovations

  • Jochen Streb
Reference work entry


Per definition, cliometric studies of innovations use statistical methods to analyze large quantities of data. That is why historical patent statistics have become the standard measure for innovation. I first discuss the advantages and shortcomings of patent data and then show that the distribution of patents across countries, regions, or inventors is characterized by two salient features: its skewness and its persistence over time. To explain these features, the influence of various supply-side, demand-side, and institutional factors will be discussed. I will stress the importance of path dependency. This chapter ends with a closer look at technological transfer that came along with patent assignments and foreign patenting.


Patent Patent statistics Human capital Skewed distribution Technological transfer Path dependency Innovation Region Patent law Access to market 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Abteilung Volkswirtschaftslehre, Lehrstuhl für WirtschaftsgeschichteUniversität MannheimMannheimGermany

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