Patent indicators for macroeconomic growth—the value of patents estimated by export volume

Rainer Frietsch, Peter Neuhäusler, Taehyun Jung, Bart van Looy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the linkage between patenting and export performance for selected countries at the level of technology fields. Some empirical studies show considerable correlation between the patenting behavior of countries and their economic success in international markets. Adding to the existing literature, the aim of this analysis is to assess whether the indicators that are supposed to reflect patent value—such as patent citations or family size—have any explanatory power in estimating the export value of countries by technology fields. For this study, a panel dataset was compiled consisting of annual data (1988–2007) on international trade from the UN-COMTRADE database and patent data from the EPO Worldwide Patent Statistical Database (PATSTAT). The results show that exports are a very useful way of placing a valuation on patents. Patents and exports are strongly correlated, although there are visible deviations from this parallelism. IPC classes and inventor counts prove not to be relevant in predicting the export value of patents, while family size has restricted predictive power. When analyzing patent applications, forward citations, in particular, are more promising than granted patents
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-558
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-304823
  • IR-91630

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