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The German Market for Patents during the “Second Industrialization,” 1884–1913: A Gravity Approach


Using newly collected patent assignment data for late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Germany and a standard econometric approach from the international trade literature—the gravity model—we demonstrate the existence of border effects on a historical technology market. We show that the geographic distance between assignor and assignee negatively affected the probability of patent assignments, as well as the fact that a state or international border separated the two contracting parties. Surprisingly, we show that the effect of a state border within Germany was nearly as large as the effect of an international border.

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Business History Review
  • ISSN: 0007-6805
  • EISSN: 2044-768X
  • URL: /core/journals/business-history-review
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