nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2022‒03‒14
three papers chosen by
Uwe Cantner
University of Jena

  1. Patenting inventions or inventing patents? Continuation practice at the USPTO By Cesare Righi; Timothy Simcoe
  2. Productive Robots and Industrial Employment: The Role of National Innovation Systems By Kapetaniou, Chrystalla; Pissarides, Christopher A.
  3. Classical political economy and secular stagnation By Manuel Cruz Luzuriaga; Daniele Tavani

  1. By: Cesare Righi; Timothy Simcoe
    Abstract: Continuations allow inventors to add new claims to old patents, leading to concerns about inadvertent infringement and holdup. We study the use of continuations to obtain standard essential patents (SEPs), a setting where patents are easily linked to possibly infringing technology. Continuation filings increase after standard publication. This effect is larger when patent examiners are more lenient, and for applicants with licensing-based business models. Claims of SEPs also become more similar after standard publication, and late claiming is positively correlated with litigation. Our findings suggest widespread use of continuations to "invent patents" that are infringed by already-published standards.
    Keywords: patents, standards, standard essential patents, continuations
    JEL: K11 L15 O34 O38
    Date: 2022–02
  2. By: Kapetaniou, Chrystalla (University of Southampton); Pissarides, Christopher A. (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: In a model with robots, and automatable and complementary human tasks, we examine robot-labour substitutions and show how it they are influenced by a country's "innovation system". Substitution depends on demand and production elasticities, and other factors influenced by the innovation system. Making use of World Economic Forum data we estimate the relationship for thirteen countries and find that countries with poor innovation capabilities substitute robots for workers much more than countries with richer innovation capabilities, which generally complement them. In transport equipment and non-manufacturing robots and workers are stronger substitutes than in other manufacturing.
    Keywords: robots-employment substitution, automatable tasks, complementary task creation, innovation environment, industrial allocations
    JEL: J23 L60 O33 O52
    Date: 2022–02
  3. By: Manuel Cruz Luzuriaga (Colorado State University); Daniele Tavani (Colorado State University)
    Abstract: This paper presents a model of secular stagnation, income and wealth distribution, and employment in the Classical Political Economy tradition, that can be contrasted with the accounts by Piketty (2014) and Gordon (2015). In these explanations, an exogenous reduction in the growth rate g --because of declining fertility or the exhaustion of path-breaking scientific discoveries--increases the difference with the rate of return to capital r. The capital-income ratio rises, and if the elasticity of substitution is above one, the wage share falls. Both Piketty and Gordon assume full employment at all times. In our explanation, which does not presuppose full employment, the key tension is between profit-driven capital accumulation and wage-driven labor-augmenting technical change: both are defining for Classical Political Economy, and have been emphasized in recent heterodox macro literature. Labor-crushing institutional or technological shocks initially foster capital accumulation -which is profit-driven-- and increase wealth inequality. However, the effect on long-run growth is negative, because of the reduced incentives by firms to introduce labor-saving innovation, which is wage-driven. The capital/income ratio must rise in order to restore balanced growth in the long run; and the increase in wealth inequality is permanent. The ultimate effect on long-run employment depends on the strength of the response of labor-augmenting technical change vs. the response of real wage growth to labor market institutions: accordingly, long-run employment can either be wage-led or profit-led. We then test the model using time-series data for the US (1990-2019): the test offers support to the main predictions of our model, and to the employment-population ratio being wage-led.
    Keywords: Secular Stagnation, Factor Shares, Wealth Inequality, Employment
    JEL: D31 D33 E11 E24 E25
    Date: 2021

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