Cross-country concentration and specialization of mining inventions

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This article focuses on the cross-country distribution of mining patent families during the period of 1970 − 2018. Alternatives measures of concentration indicate that only a few countries account for most mining inventions (e.g., China, Germany, Japan, the United States), and that the composition of such countries has remained relatively stable over time. This is also true for patent families of all technology fields. On the other hand, the evidence shows that those countries relatively specialized in mining technologies do not necessarily have a high share of mining inventions (e.g., Peru and Indonesia). These stylized facts are complemented with panel-regression models of the number of mining patent families—distinguishing between patented inventions and utility models—-, of mining patent-family ranks, and of relative specialization in mining. The empirical findings show that important drivers of mining patent families are mineral prices and production, family features, and the number of patent families of all technology fields (i.e., overall inventive performance). Moreover, the evidence shows that increments in mineral rents/GDP have a positive impact on the likelihood of relative specialization in some mining technologies, such as Blasting, Mining, and Processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6715-6759
Number of pages45
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • C4index
  • Gini coefficient
  • Herfindahl–hirschman index
  • Lorenz curve
  • Panel-regression models
  • Patent families


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