On the Returns to Invention within Firms: Evidence from Finland

Philippe Aghion , Ufuk Akcigit , Ari Hyytinen, Otto Toivanen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review


In this paper we merge individual income data, firm-level data, patenting data, and IQ data in Finland over the period 1988–2012 to analyze the returns to invention for inventors and their coworkers or stakeholders within the same firm. We find that: (i) inventors collect only 8 percent of the total private return from invention; (ii) entrepreneurs get over 44 percent of the total gains; (iii) bluecollar workers get about 26 percent of the gains and the rest goes to white-collar workers. Moreover, entrepreneurs start with significant negative returns prior to the patent application, but their returns subsequently become highly positive.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalAEA Papers and Proceedings
Issue numberMay
Pages (from-to)208-212
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings


  • 511 Economics


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