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POID Research Seminar
This event is both online and in person
We study the role of political ideology for a critical group of economic agents: inventors. We document that, in "politically polarizing" fields, inventors are likely to patent innovations that align with their political beliefs. We construct a novel dataset matching data from the US Patent Office (USPTO) with individual Voter Register data for two large US states, and with the universe of US campaign contributions data. We proxy political ideology with individual party affiliation, and we focus on fields where the ideological distance between Republicans and Democrats is especially large in the general population. We find that, compared to Republicans, Democrats are: i) more likely to file green patents; ii) more likely to file female-health patents, an effect that persists in the subset of male inventors; and iii) less likely to file weapon-related patents. The magnitudes are large, and range from one fourth to one third of total patent production in these technologies. This pattern is not explained by differential monetary incentives, suggesting that inventors may derive intrinsic utility from producing innovation aligned with their beliefs.
Participants are expected to adhere to the Events Code of Conduct.
This event will take place in SAL 2.04, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Sir Arthur Lewis Building, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH.
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