Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Stars and comets: an exploration of the patent universe

By Carlo Menon


The analysis of patent and citation data has become a popular source of evidence on localized knowledge spillovers and innovation. Nevertheless, an aspect has been overlooked: the patent distribution across inventors is extremely skewed, as many inventors register one or a few patents, while a small number of inventors register many patents. To our knowledge, the previous empirical literature has not discussed the different kinds of local innovation from which patents may originate. A first contribution of this paper is therefore to document the issue. A second contribution is to investigate whether patents originating from different scales of innovation are located in different cities. A third contribution - which constitutes the main scope of the paper - is to test whether the concentration of the activity of star inventors is beneficial to the local productivity of other kinds of innovation - namely the ones led by more occasional, and less prolific, inventors

Topics: T201 Patents. Trademarks
Publisher: Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC), London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

Suggested articles


  1. (2008). Identifying agglomeration spillovers: evidence from million dollar plants, NBER Working Paper n. doi
  2. (2009). Mobility of skilled workers and co-invention networks: an anatomy of localized knowledge doi
  3. (1992). Real E¤ects of Academic Research: Comment, American Economic Review, 82:1 Acs ZJ, DB Audretsch,
  4. (2008). Superstar Extinction, NBER Working Paper No. doi
  5. (2007). Urban density and the rate of invention, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.