Publication:
The effect of patent protection on inventor mobility

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2020-05-27
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INFORMS
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Abstract
This article investigates the effect of patent protection on the mobility of earlycareer employee-inventors. Using data on patent applications filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office between 2001 and 2012 and examiner leniency as a source of exogenous variation in patent protection, we find that one additional patent granted decreases the likelihood of changing employers, on average, by 23%. This decrease is stronger when the employee has fewer coinventors, works outside the core of the firm, and produces more basic-research innovations. These findings are consistent with the idea that patents turn innovation-related skills into patent-holder-specific human capital.
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Inventors, Patents, Mobility, Specific human capital, Examiner leniency
Bibliographic citation
Melero, E., Palomeras, N.& Wehrheim, D. (2020). The Effect of Patent Protection on Inventor Mobility. Management Science, 66(12), pp. 5485-5504.