The Role of Location on the Inventor Gender Gap: Women are Geographically Constrained

Mercedes Delgado, Myriam Mariani, Fiona E. Murray

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


This paper examines the inventor gender gap in the United States. While prior work has explored the role of location on innovation, little is known about the role of location on female inventor activity. The low presence of women who patent (i.e., “female inventors”) has been documented across countries. However, prior studies abstract from variation across sub-national regions and their industry clusters. To explain the inventor gender gap, we need to better understand the potential differences in the regional context where female inventors (FI) and male inventors (MI) operate. The goal of this paper is to examine: Where are female inventors located? How do female versus male inventors source knowledge inside their organizations and in the external environment? We test the hypothesis that women are geographically constrained, and so, female inventors will be more likely to source knowledge that is closer by. To examine these questions we use novel data that maps the participation of women and men in patenting across regions, economic fields, type of organization, and time. We find that female inventors are more co-located with their team of co-inventors, suggesting that they exploit more intrafirm nearby knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventDRUID19 Conference - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jun 201921 Jun 2019
Conference number: 41


ConferenceDRUID19 Conference
LocationCopenhagen Business School
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