The ‘inventor balance’ and the functional specialization in global inventive activities

Lucio Picci, Luca Savorelli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)


    Inventors and organizational assets are inputs of inventive activities which are often provided at a global scale, where countries might specialize in the provision of one or the other type of inputs. We introduce a new patent-based metric, the 'inventor balance', to quantify this type of functional specialization, which we discover to be considerable, and we propose a conceptual framework to explain it. We observe a progressive 'decoupling' of national sub-systems providing respectively inventors and organizational assets. Moreover, we find that countries with a high level of innovativeness relative to their economic development, high technological specialization, and strong individualistic cultural traits, contribute relatively more inventors than organizations to the global production of inventions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-61
    Number of pages23
    JournalEconomics of Innovation and New Technology
    Issue number1
    Early online date14 Mar 2017
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


    • Patents
    • Inventor balance
    • Inventor criterion
    • Applicant criterion
    • Internationalization of R&D
    • Specialization
    • Technology gaps


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