Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/228162
Authors: 
Nuvolari, Alessandro
Tartari, Valentina
Tranchero, Matteo
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
LEM Working Paper Series No. 2020/23
Abstract: 
The distinction between macro- and microinventions is at the core of recent debates on the Industrial Revolution. Yet, the empirical testing of this notion has remained elusive. We address this issue by introducing a new quality indicator for all patents granted in England in the period 1700-1850. Our findings indicate that macroinventions did not exhibit any specific time-clustering, while microinventions were correlated with the economic cycle. In addition, we also find that macroinventions were characterized by a labor-saving bias and were mostly introduced by professional engineers. These results suggest that Allen's and Mokyr's views of macroinventions, rather than conflicting, should be regarded as complementary.
Subjects: 
Industrial Revolution
Patents
Macroinventions
Microinventions
JEL: 
N73
O31
O33
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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