Invention in the City : Increasing Returns to Scale in Metropolitan Patenting

  title={Invention in the City : Increasing Returns to Scale in Metropolitan Patenting},
  author={Lu{\'i}s M. A. Bettencourt and Jose Lobo and D{\'e}borah and Strumsky},
We investigate the relationship between patenting activity and the size of metropolitan areas in the United States over the last two decades (1980-2001). We find a clear superlinear effect, whereby patents are granted disproportionately in larger urban centers, thus showing increasing returns in inventing activity with respect to population size. We characterize this relation quantitatively as a power law with an exponent larger than unity. This phenomenon is commensurate with the presence of… CONTINUE READING


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