nep-ipr New Economics Papers
on Intellectual Property Rights
Issue of 2007‒11‒17
six papers chosen by
Roland Kirstein
Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

  1. Nowcasting Patent Indicators By Hélène Dernis
  2. The Impact of National Research Funds: An Evaluation of the Chilean FONDECYT By José Miguel Benavente; Gustavo Crespi; Alessandro Maffioli
  5. Peer Influence in Network Markets: An Empirical Investigation By Block, J.H.; Koellinger, P.
  6. Parables: applied economics literature about the impact of genetically engineered crop varieties in developing economies By Smale, Melinda; Zambrano, Patricia; Falck-Zepeda, José; Gruère, Guillaume

  1. By: Hélène Dernis
    Abstract: Indicators based on patents provide a good measure of the innovative performance and technology outputs of countries. However, because of legal rules imposed by the patent application process, information on patents is generally publicly disclosed after 18 months. Patent indicators are consequently faced with a timeliness issue, which can extend to more than five years depending on the computational method used to develop indicators. This study aims at designing simple but robust methods that would enable to "nowcast" patent indicators - forecast the present (or the recent past) - in order to mitigate the timeliness issue. The nowcasting exercise is conducted here on two separate sets of patent indicators: the number of patents applied to the European Patent Office (EPO) and the number of Triadic Patent Families (patents taken at the EPO, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO)). Portion of patent filings at the EPO were made under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The nowcasting method developed in the present document is based on estimates of the transfer rate of patents filed under PCT into the EPO regional phase, given that information on PCT patents at international phase is disclosed before reaching the regional/national phase. This method provides robust estimates up to year t-2 (instead of year t-4), even though patenting activity of small patenting countries or emerging economies are difficult to predict, in terms of both level and growth... <P>Prévisions des indicateurs brevets (nowcast) <BR>Les indicateurs de brevets proposent une bonne mesure de la performance des pays dans les activités d'innovation et de leurs productions technologiques. Cependant, les règles légales liées aux procédures de dépôt de brevets impliquent des délais de 18 mois avant la révélation publique du contenu des brevets. Les indicateurs brevets font par conséquent face à des problèmes de disponibilité pour les années les plus récentes. La disponibilité peut être décalée à plus de cinq ans selon les méthodes utilisées pour compiler les indicateurs. Cette étude vise à développer des méthodes d'estimations simples et néanmoins robustes, pour évaluer le présent ou le passé récent (« nowcast »), afin de pallier au problème de disponibilité des dernières années. Dans ce document, le travail d'estimation est mené sur deux ensembles d'indicateurs distincts : le nombre de demandes de brevets déposées auprès de l'Office européen des brevets (OEB) et le nombre de Familles de brevets « triadiques » (brevets pris à l'OEB, au Japan Patent Office (JPO) et à l'United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO)). Une partie des demandes de brevets auprès de l'OEB se fait via le Traité de coopération en matière de brevets (PCT). La méthode de prévision mise en place ici est basée sur les taux de transfert des demandes de brevet PCT dans la phase régionale à l'OEB, le contenu des brevets PCT étant en effet rendu public lorsqu'ils sont encore en phase internationale. Cette méthode fournit alors des estimations robustes jusque l'année t-2 (au lieu de t-4). Néanmoins, l'activité récente des pays déposant un petit nombre de brevets et des économies émergentes reste difficile à prévoir, que ce soit en terme de volume comme en terme de croissance...
    Date: 2007–10–05
  2. By: José Miguel Benavente (INTELIS, Department of Economics, University of Chile); Gustavo Crespi (International Development Research Centre); Alessandro Maffioli (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of National Research Funds in promoting scientific production in emerging economies. The investigation focuses on the impact of the Chilean National Science and Technology Research Fund (FONDECYT). The analysis uses data drawn from international sources of bibliometric information combined with the administrative records of the program executing unit. To measure the program’s impact, we implement a Regression Discontinuity (RD) design on projects submitted for funding between 1988 and 1995. The results do not show any significant impact either in terms of publications or in terms of quality of publications in the proximity of the program threshold ranking. Although results show that the program has been partially effective in identifying the best projects in terms of expected quality, evidence suggests that the FONDECYT’s lack of impact may be due to targeting problems in terms of both researchers and research projects.
    Keywords: FONDECYT; Chile; Economics of Science; Scientific Grants; Regression-discontinuity Analysis; Policy Evaluation.
    JEL: O30 O38 H43
    Date: 2007–10
  3. By: Celeste Amorim Varum (Universidade de Aveiro); Leonildo Monteiro (Universidade de Aveiro)
    Abstract: Product innovation is a subtle process, frequently leading to shifts in the competitiveness of firms. Developing products in an environment undergoing technological change is given to frequent failure, even in well-established and sophisticated organizations. In order to tackle competitiveness and to deal with innovation uncertainty, firms develop diverse innovation processes. Two modes of innovation are suggested in recent literature: 1) Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) mode, which is based on the production and use of codified scientific and technical knowledge; and 2) Doing, Using and Interacting (DUI) mode, which relies on informal processes of learning and experience-based know-how. In this paper we analyse product innovation at firm level. We perform an exploratory analysis in four leading equipment and machinery producers from the Aveiro region, in Portugal. Doing so, we explore the main features of the capital goods’ industry with implications for innovation, and analyse the dominant uncertainties associated to the innovation process. and modes of innovation. Key findings include the complete absence of DUI mode in the cases studied, and even a low learning characteristic in one company. The paper concludes by considering the implications for firms’ competitiveness and for innovation policy.
    Keywords: modes of innovation, uncertainties, R&D, capital goods, SME
    JEL: O32 L6
    Date: 2007–11
  4. By: Ana Villar (Universitat Jaume I); César Camisón (Universitat Jaume I); Montserrat Boronat (Universitat Jaume I)
    Abstract: This study provides an empirical evidence of the relationship that exists between participation in technological strategic alliances and business performance by considering the knowledge-based distinctive competencies that the alliance is capable of generating as a mediating variable. The generation of knowledge in technological strategic alliances explains the contradictory results that emerge from the direct effect of strategic alliances on economic performance. The study uses a sample of Spanish industrial firms. The results findings prove that the relationship between R&D and innovation strategic alliances, and performance is mediated by the generation of knowledge-based distinctive competencies; and that the contribution of the participation in alliances to the growth of the firm¿s knowledge stock depends on its creation of innovation competencies. R&D managers should enhance the development of this kind of competencies in order to achieve superior performance. El presente trabajo provee evidencia empírica de la relación existente entre la participación en alianzas estratégicas tecnológicas y el desempeño organizativo, introduciendo como variable mediadora las competencias distintivas basadas en conocimiento que la alianza es capaz de generar. En la literatura existen resultados contradictorios en cuanto al efecto directo de las alianzas estratégicas en el desempeño organizativo. La generación de conocimiento en las alianzas estratégicas tecnológicas explica estos resultados contradictorios. A través de una muestra compuesta por empresas industriales españolas, nuestros resultados demuestran que la relación entre alianzas estratégicas en I+D y el desempeño, está mediada por la generación de competencias distintivas basadas en conocimiento; y que la contribución de la participación en las alianzas en el crecimiento del stock de conocimiento de la empresa depende de la creación de competencias en innovación. Los directivos de I+D deben alentar el desarrollo de este tipo de competencias para conseguir un desempeño organizativo superior.
    Keywords: Alianzas estratégicas, cooperación tecnológica, competencias basadas en conocimiento e innovación, desempeño organizativo. Strategic alliances, technological cooperation, knowledge-based and innovation competencies, performance
    JEL: C61 G31
    Date: 2007–10
  5. By: Block, J.H.; Koellinger, P. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of peer influence on the diffusion of an innovative network good. We argue that the adopters of a network good have an incentive to convince others to purchase the same product because their utility depends on the number of other users. This peer-effect influences individuals? adoption decisions alongside the more familiar installed-base-effect, based on the individual?s own insight that a larger number of installed units increases his/her benefit of adopting. We test empirically which effect dominates with Instant Messaging, an innovative network good. We arrive at surprising results with far-reaching implications for research and management. The diffusion of Instant Messaging was to a large extent driven by the peer-effect, but the installed-base-effect seemed to play no role. We perform our estimation with a discrete time hazard rate model that controls for unobserved heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Innovation Diffusion;Peer Influence;Network Markets;Hazard Rate Model;Instant Messaging;
    Date: 2007–09–14
  6. By: Smale, Melinda; Zambrano, Patricia; Falck-Zepeda, José; Gruère, Guillaume
    Abstract: "A vast literature has accumulated since crop varieties with transgenic resistance to insects and herbicide tolerance were released to farmers in 1996 and 1997. A comparatively minor segment of this literature consists of studies conducted by agricultural economists to measure the farm-level impact of transgenic crop varieties, the size and distribution of the economic benefits from adopting them, consumer attitudes toward GE products, and implications for international trade. This paper focuses only on the applied economics literature about the impact of transgenic crop varieties in non-industrialized agricultural systems, with an emphasis on methods. A number of studies have surveyed the findings for both industrialized and non-industrialized agriculture, at various points in time, but surveys of methods are less frequent and have typically examined only one overall question or approach. Clearly, the methods used in research influence the findings that are presented and what they mean. Understanding the methods therefore enhances understanding of the findings. Four categories of impact analysis are considered: farmers, consumers, industry and trade. In part due to methodological limitations and the relatively brief time frame of most analyses, results are promising, but the balance sheet is mixed. Thus, findings of current case studies should not be generalized to other locations, crops, and traits. The aim of this review is to progress toward the defining a “best practices” methodology for national researchers who seek to produce relevant information about emerging crop biotechnologies for national policymakers. " Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Genetically engineered crops, Economic impacts, Technology adoption, Developing economies, Economics methods, Best practices, biotechnology,
    Date: 2006

This nep-ipr issue is ©2007 by Roland Kirstein. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.