KTH/CESIS Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation
The Inventive, the Educated, and the Creative: How Do They Affect Metropolitan Productivity?
(), Charlotta Mellander
(), Kevin Stolarick
() and Deborah Strumsky
Abstract: A longstanding research tradition assumes that endogenous
technological development increases regional productivity. It has been
assumed that measures of regional patenting activity or human capital are
an adequate way to capture the endogenous creation of new ideas that result
in productivity improvements. This process has been conceived as occurring
in two stages. First, an invention or innovation is generated, and then it
is developed and commercialized to create benefits for the individual or
firm owning the idea. Typically these steps are combined into a single
model of the “invention in/productivity out” variety. Using data on Gross
Metropolitan Product per worker and on inventors, educational attainment,
and creative workers (together with other important socio-economic
controls), we unpack the model back to the two-step process and use a SEM
modeling framework to investigate the relationships among inventive
activity and potential inventors, regional technology levels, and regional
productivity outcomes. Our results show almost no significant direct
relationship between invention and productivity, except through technology.
Clearly, the simplification of the “invention in/productivity out” model
does not hold, which supports other work that questions the use of patents
and patenting related measures as meaningful innovation inputs to processes
that generate regional productivity and productivity gains. We also find
that the most effective measure of regional inventive capacity, in terms of
its effect on technology, productivity, and productivity growth is the
share of the workforce engaged in creative activities.
Keywords: Innovation; Productivity; Regional Technology; Patents; Human Capital; Creative Class; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C31; O10; O31; O47; R11; Z10; (follow links to similar papers)
40 pages, January 20, 2012
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