We are researching gender bias in terms of patents, using a unique dataset that brings together Italian administrative records of INPS employers-employees with patent data from the European Patent Office (1987-2008), which provides information on gender, place of birth, place of work, salary, employment status, etc.
8.8% of the inventors in our dataset are women (1380 sur 15732). We intend to empirically verify if ideas about the role of women in society are historically pervasive by testing to see if there are any differences in the likelihood or not of a woman to receive a patent depending on her birthplace (whether she was born into the state of the Pope, the "Regno delle due Sicilie", a "Commune" or a "Signoria”) in the 14th century.
The underlying hypothesis is that the rules and regulations governing local political regimes in the Middle Ages have ongoing individual economic effects today (see Guiso et al (2016); de Blasio and Nuzzo (2009) and d’Adda and de Blasio (2017)). We can also test for gender differences in the allotment of patents and investigate whether or not this difference can be explained by cultural and geographical differences.