The global inventor gap: Distribution and equality of world-wide inventive effort, 1990-2010

Hannes Toivanen, Arho Suominen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Applying distance-to-frontier analysis, we have used 2.9 million patents and population data to assess whether the relative capacity of world countries and major regions to create new knowledge and technology has become globally more equal or less equal between 1990 and 2010. We show with the Gini coefficient that the global distribution of inventors has become more equal between major countries and regions. However, this trend has been largely due to the improved performance of only two major countries, China and India. The worst performing regions, totalling a population of almost 2 billion, are actually falling behind. Our results suggest that substantial parts of the global population have fallen further behind countries at the global frontier in their ability to create new knowledge and inventions, and that the catch-up among the least developed and middle-income countries is highly uneven, prompting questions about the nature and future of the global knowledge economy.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0122098
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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Inventors
Patents and inventions
Accidental Falls
Population
Patents
patents
India
China
income
Technology

Keywords

  • globalization
  • development
  • technology
  • inventors
  • patents
  • catch-up
  • knowledge
  • economy
  • equality

Cite this

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The global inventor gap: Distribution and equality of world-wide inventive effort, 1990-2010. / Toivanen, Hannes; Suominen, Arho.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 10, No. 4, e0122098, 2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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