Gender Norms and Inventorship
Title: Gender Norms and Inventorship
Abstract: Women are underrepresented in STEM subjects and innovative activity. We use novel data on patents, inventor teams, and corporates to document a large gender gap in inventorship since 1980. This gap is more persistent in certain countries, regions, and technology classes than in others. We study what explains this gap and its persistence in two alternative settings. First, we use German reunification as a natural experiment to document how (i) local attitudes towards women and (ii) woman inventors’ activities in former East Germany explain the gender gap in inventorship today across former West Germany. Second, we use a global sample of multinationals and their affiliates to document how national gender norms and corporate culture affect women’s participation in inventor teams.