Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Roberto Pedace

Reader 2

Nancy Neiman Auerbach

Reader 3

Sean Flynn

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Jiani Xu


Innovation is generally regarded as an essential aspect of the economic growth for a country. Intellectual property rights such as patents are often held in the same regard of importance towards promoting the pursuit of innovation. This paper examines this assumption and explores whether patent applications positively or negatively influence GDP growth in a sample of 4 countries chosen for their similarity in stages of economic development. In my research, I also test for the influence of patent applications on commercialized innovation. I find that GDP growth and commercialized innovation are negatively affected by patent applications. This suggests that the commonly assumed link between patents and innovation may need to be reevaluated, and that using patents as an indicator of the economic growth of a country may also need to be reevaluated.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.