The Agglomeration of U.S. Ethnic Inventors

Edited by William R. Kerr

in Agglomeration Economics

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780226297897
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226297927 | DOI:
The Agglomeration of U.S. Ethnic Inventors

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Econometric studies quantifying the role of ethnic scientists and engineers for technology formation and diffusion are often hampered by data constraints. It is very difficult to assemble sufficient cross-sectional and longitudinal variation for large-scale panel exercises. This chapter describes a new approach for quantifying the ethnic composition of U.S. inventors. The study of how U.S. ethnic inventors agglomerate is very important, given the disproportionate contributions of immigrant researchers and their nonrandom spatial distribution across the United States. Such a characterization is necessary for understanding the geography of U.S. innovation and economic growth. Moreover, the spatial variation of immigrant researchers across cities allows for stronger quantitative assessments of the role of innovation in city growth. The chapter also discusses the growing contribution of ethnic inventors to U.S. technology formation and uses the patenting data to calculate concentration indices for U.S. innovation. It is hoped that the empirical platform developed in this study provides a foothold for furthering such analyses.

Keywords: ethnic inventors; economic growth; U.S. technology; immigrant researchers; econometric studies

Chapter.  14855 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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