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Science Quality and the Value of Inventions

MPS-Authors
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Poege,  Felix
MPI for Innovation and Competition, Max Planck Society;

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Harhoff,  Dietmar
MPI for Innovation and Competition, Max Planck Society;

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Gaessler,  Fabian
MPI for Innovation and Competition, Max Planck Society;

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Baruffaldi,  Stefano Horst
MPI for Innovation and Competition, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Poege, F., Harhoff, D., Gaessler, F., & Baruffaldi, S. H. (2019). Science Quality and the Value of Inventions. Science Advances, 5(12), eaay7323. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aay7323.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-5A7A-E
Abstract
Despite decades of research, the relationship between the quality of science and the value of inventions has remained unclear. We present the result of a large-scale matching exercise between 4.8 million patent families and 43 million publication records. We find a strong positive relationship between quality of scientific contributions referenced in patents and the value of the respective inventions. We rank patents by the quality of the science they are linked to. Strikingly, high-rank patents are twice as valuable as low-rank patents, which in turn are about as valuable as patents without direct science link. We show this core result for various science quality and patent
value measures. The effect of science quality on patent value remains relevant even when science is linked indirectly through other patents. Our findings imply that what is considered “excellent” within the science sector also leads to outstanding outcomes in the technological or commercial realm.