Research / BFI Working Paper•Apr 03, 2023
Measuring the Characteristics and Employment Dynamics of U.S. Inventors
Ufuk Akcigit, Nathan Goldschlag
Innovation is a key driver of long run economic growth. Studying innovation requires a clear view of the characteristics and behavior of the individuals that create new ideas. A general lack of rich, large-scale data has constrained such analyses. We address this by introducing a new dataset linking patent inventors to survey, census, and administrative microdata at the U.S. Census Bureau. We use this data to provide a first look at the demographic characteristics, employer characteristics, earnings, and employment dynamics of inventors. These linkages, which will be available to researchers with approved access, dramatically increases the scope of what can be learned about inventors and innovative activity.