Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich, Room 313
Does an increase in female medical researchers lead to more medical advances for women? In this paper, we investigate whether inventors’ gender is related to the content of their inventions. Using data on the universe of US biomedical patents, we find that patents with women inventors are significantly more likely to focus on female diseases and conditions. Consistent with the idea of women researchers choosing to innovate for women, we find stronger effects when the lead inventor on the patent is a woman. Women-led research teams are 26 percent more likely to focus on female health outcomes. Our findings suggest that the demography of inventors matters not just for who invents but also for what is invented.
Contact Person: Michael E. Rose, Ph.D.