How well do patent citations measure flows of technology? Evidence from French innovation surveys

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Patent citation data are used in a growing body of economics and business research on technological diffusion. Until now, there exists little evidence on whether patent citations are a good measure of knowledge flows. Our paper assesses the legitimacy of using European patent citations as a measure of technology flows. It uses information from the Community Innovation Survey collected by the French Service des Statistiques Industrielles (SESSI), which contain firms' responses to questions about their innovative activity. We show that patent citations are indeed related to firms' statements about their acquisition and dispersion of new technology, but that the strength and statistical significance of this relationship varies across geographical regions and across channels of knowledge diffusion.

Keywords: Citation; Community Innovation Survey; Count data; Innovation; Patent; Spillovers

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Université de Bretagne Occidentale and EUREQua, CNRS UMR 8594, Université de Paris I —Panthéon - Sorbonne, Maison des Sciences Economiques, 106-112 boulevard de I'Hôpital, 75647, Paris, Cedex 13, France 2: Boston University School of Management, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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