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Three Essays in Economics


The mechanism of innovation is an important question in economics. Recent release of the patent transaction data provides some new insights in understanding the innovation process.

Chapter 1 studies the patent reassignment, which is an important phenomenon in the United States. This chapter documents some basic facts about patent transactions on which patents are traded and how they are traded. I also provide evidence on the motive and impact behind these transactions. There is more strategic knowledge flow across firms associated with mergers and acquisitions.

Chapter 2 further investigates the information flow among agents in the economy and how this affects the economic growth. This chapter studies technology diffusion in a heterogeneous agent environment. Agents can improve through imitation or innovation. The benefits of imitation was determined by the economy’s distribution which evolutes over the time. I estimated the model by linking patent citations to imitation process. I provide suggestive evidence on relative contribution of imitation vs. innovation to the economic growth. I also explained the non monotone relationship between patent citations and its value documented recently.

Chapter 2 develops a general method in studying the economic meaning in the cross- section distribution of economic variables. Chapter 3 applies this method to study the income wealth distribution in US. I present some evidence on the contribution of the income

process to wealth inequality using a continuous time Aiyagari type model. I then estimate the

model semi/nonparametrically with the US data. The results suggest that higher moments of the income process is important in explaining the income wealth distribution.

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