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Chart Dec 13, 2017

Patenting is Closely Related to Innovation

Though many patents are certainly valuable to workers and firms that possess them, it might be less immediately obvious whether patents are closely associated with innovation. Measuring this link is critical to understanding both the social benefits of the patent system and the usefulness of the patent-based approach to analyzing innovation. In this chart the share of firms reporting that they had implemented an improved product, service, or business method is plotted against the number of patents generated by every 1,000 employees.

Chart Sep 26, 2017

Labor Market Slack has Declined Since the Great Recession

While in the long run real wage growth depends on productivity and the distribution of gains from productivity, over shorter time horizons wage growth can be determined by the supply and demand for labor. When there is extensive slack in the economy—such as during a recession or the early phase of a recovery, when labor and capital are underutilized—wage growth can be temporarily lower. At these times, there are more unemployed workers and hiring demand is low, both of which put downward pressure on wages.