Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Paper Series in Economics,
Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics

No 12/2012: Amateur or professional? A new look at 19th century. patentees in Norway

Bjørn L. Basberg ()
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Bjørn L. Basberg: Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Postal: NHH , Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: The paper analyses Norwegian 19th century patentees. A special focus is on the affiliation or relationship of the patentees to the manufacturing industries, business and the wider economy. A main question is whether the inventors were what might be called ‘amateurs’ working independently, or ‘professionals’ working closer to firms or institutions. A main finding is that even the individual patentees, that comprised the majority of all patentees, had strong associations with industry, and the distinction between ‘professionals’ and ‘amateurs’ is not all that useful.

Keywords: Industrial breakthrough; Norway; patentees; patents; professional inventors.

JEL-codes: N63; N73; O31; O34

18 pages, April 26, 2012

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