Using data on patent applications at the European Patent Office, we examine the structural properties of networks of inventors in France in different technologies. We find that the higher the presence of inventors from universities and public research organizations (PROs), the more likely the networks are to exhibit small world properties. University and PRO inventors contribute to reduce average path length insofar they are more mobile (across applicants) than other inventors, thus linking up otherwise disconnected cliques. We achieve these results by implementing an original methodology for detecting small world properties in one-mode projections of two-mode graphs.
- academic patenting
- small world