Found 5 article(s) for author 'Tom Nicholas'

Immigration and the Rise of American Ingenuity

Immigration and the Rise of American Ingenuity. Tom Nicholas, February 2017, Paper, “This paper builds on the analysis in Akcigit, Grigsby, and Nicholas (2017) by using US patent and Census data to examine macro and micro-level aspects of the relationship between immigration and innovation. We construct a measure of “foreign born expertise” and show that technology areas where immigrant inventors were prevalent between 1880 and 1940 experienced more patenting and citations between 1940 and 2000. We also show that immigrant inventors were more productive during their life cycle than native born inventors, although they received significantly lower levels of labor income than their native born counterparts. Overall, the contribution of foreign born inventors to US innovation was substantial, but we also find evidence of an immigrant inventor wage-gap that cannot be explained by differentials in productivity.Link

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The Rise of American Ingenuity: Innovation and Inventors of the Golden Age

The Rise of American Ingenuity: Innovation and Inventors of the Golden Age. Tom Nicholas, January 2017, Paper, “We examine the golden age of US innovation by undertaking a major data collection exercise linking US patents to state and county-level aggregates and matching inventors to Federal Censuses between 1880 and 1940. We identify a causal relationship between patented inventions and long run economic growth and outline a basic framework for analyzing key macro and micro-level determinants. We explore drivers of regional performance including population density, financial development, geographic connectedness and social structure. We then profile the characteristics of inventors and their life cycle, measure the returns to technological development, and document the relationship between innovation, inequality and social mobility. Our new data help to address important questions related to innovation and long-run growth dynamics.Link

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The Origins of High-Tech Venture Investing in America

The Origins of High-Tech Venture Investing in America. Tom Nicholas, October 2015, Book Chapter. “The United States has developed an unparalleled environment for the provision of high-tech investment finance. Today it is reflected in the strength of agglomeration economies in Silicon Valley, but historically its origins lay in the East Coast. Notably, the New England Council’s immediate post-WWII efforts to create the American Research and Development Corporation created a precedent for “long-tail” high-tech investing. This approach became institutionalized in America over subsequent decades in a way that has been difficult to replicate in other countries. The role of history helps to explain why.Link

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Prizes, Patents and the Search for Longitude

Prizes, Patents and the Search for Longitude. Tom Nicholas, July 2015, Paper, “The 1714 Longitude Act created the Board of Longitude to administer a large monetary prize and progress payments for the precise determination of a ship’s longitude. It is frequently cited to justify the use of prize-based incentives over patents. Using new data on marine chronometer inventors we show that while the timing of the Board’s progress payments did not systematically influence entry or patents, the propensity to patent was high. Furthermore, the level of patents increased during the post-Board era as chronometers were cumulatively refined. The search for longitude relied on a complementarity between prizes and patents to produce a socially valuable innovation when private investment was low.Link

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Did Bank Distress Stifle Innovation During the Great Depression?

Did Bank Distress Stifle Innovation During the Great Depression? Ramana Nanda, Tom Nicholas, October 2013, Paper. “We find a negative relationship between bank distress and the level, quality, and trajectory of firm-level innovation during the Great Depression, particularly for R&D firms operating in capital intensive industries. However, we also show that because a sufficient number of R&D intensive firms were located in counties with lower levels of bank distress, or were operating in less capital intensive industries, the negative effects were mitigated in aggregate…” Link

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