Most previous results on determinants of inventive performance are biased because inventive performance is measured with error. This measurement error causes attenuation bias. More specifically, for example age and education as drivers of patenting success have biased coefficients and too high standard errors when inventive performance is measured in short observation periods. The reason for measurement errors in inventive performance is that patents are typically applied for in waves.
Zwick, Thomas and Katharina Frosch (2016), Attenuation Bias when Measuring Inventive Performance, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 16-014, Mannheim, published in: Economics of Innovation and New Technology 26 (3), 195-201. Download