Prolific Inventors as Determinants of Firms’ Technological Performances

By Christian Le Bas

The paper draws on the stream of recent literature emphasizing the importance of very productive individuals for explaining firms’ innovative performance. Our contribution is threefold: we study the performance of firms in their dominant technological field, we survey all firms and sectors, we use the RTA index as a proxy for firms’ technological performance. Our data come from the NBER patenting data set. Our estimations confirm the view that prolific and highly prolific (star) inventors contribute to technological performance in the firms’ main technological domain. Our findings show star inventors contribute more than simply prolific inventors to firms’ technological performance.JEL Codes: D22, O31, O32


  • prolific inventor
  • patent
  • technological performance
  • dominant technological field
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