Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
     I also contribute to Division of Labour Load HL's Front Page
Thursday, December 14, 2006

On Sport Popularity and Patents

Google Patents allows us to search the entire patent database. My "discovery" comes on the heels of the UTA Department of Economics seminar last Friday given by Yi Deng of SMU. Prof Deng is looking at patent data in the context of knowledge spillovers. She revealed (and colleague Mike Ward agreed) that while the patent data are freely available they are not yet easy to work with. However, as the patent data becomes more democratically available, I think we will see a lot of interesting research in the next few years.

While I was goofing off with Google Patents, I happened to search for NASCAR. It turns out there are 189 patents that contain the word NASCAR. This got me searching for patents containing other sports - I started with the big ones like baseball, swimming, and so forth. My expectation was that more popular sports by definition have larger potential and actual markets (by number of people if not by amount of money), and should attract more innovation in the form of new patents. Things seemed to follow that general pattern but the ocular estimator is notoriously misleading. I moved to a more "sophisticated" statistical test with the goal of spending ten minutes or less.

I gathered sport participation rates at the National Sporting Goods Association (four minutes), looked up the exact sports titles in Google Patents, and recorded the number of patents found (five minutes). I threw the data into STATA and here's the list ordered by total patents (part = percentage of people over 7 that participated in the sport in 2005)

+-----------------------------------------------+
| sport patents part |
|-----------------------------------------------|
1. | Cheerleading 18 3.3 |
2. | Muzzleloading 51 4.1 |
3. | Target Shooting - Airgun 82 6.7 |
4. | Workout at Club 119 34.7 |
5. | Kayaking/Rafting 190 7.6 |
|-----------------------------------------------|
6. | Paintball Games 261 8 |
7. | Mountain Biking (off road) 288 9.2 |
8. | Backpack/Wilderness Camp 456 13.3 |
9. | Skateboarding 495 12 |
10. | In-Line Roller Skating 513 13.1 |
|-----------------------------------------------|
11. | Soccer 525 14.1 |
12. | Running/Jogging 552 29.2 |
13. | Skiing (alpine) 628 6.9 |
14. | Skiing (cross country) 629 1.9 |
15. | Snowboarding 632 6 |
|-----------------------------------------------|
16. | Aerobic Exercising 637 33.7 |
17. | Volleyball 641 13.2 |
18. | Softball 664 14.1 |
19. | Camping (vacation/overnite) 665 46 |
20. | Water Skiing 673 6.7 |
|-----------------------------------------------|
21. | Billiards/Pool 676 37.3 |
22. | Hiking 690 29.8 |
23. | Boating, Motor/Power 695 27.5 |
24. | Exercising with Equipment 695 54.2 |
25. | Scooter Riding 765 10.4 |
|-----------------------------------------------|
26. | Target Shooting 830 21.9 |
27. | Hockey (ice) 889 2.4 |
28. | Archery (target) 891 6.8 |
29. | Basketball 911 29.9 |
30. | Hunting w/Bow & Arrow 913 6.6 |
|-----------------------------------------------|
31. | Football (tackle) 949 9.9 |
32. | Tennis 1002 11.1 |
33. | Baseball 1004 14.6 |
34. | Bowling 1010 45.4 |
35. | Swimming 1048 58 |
|-----------------------------------------------|
36. | Hunting with Firearms 1056 19.4 |
37. | Exercise Walking 1130 86 |
38. | Fishing 1149 43.3 |
39. | Bicycle Riding 1151 43.1 |
40. | Weightlifting 1164 35.5 |
|-----------------------------------------------|
41. | Golf 1181 24.7 |
+-----------------------------------------------+

We were a litte past the the ten minute mark at this point, so I just calculated the Spearman Rank correlation coefficient between the number of patents and total participation rates:

. spearman total patents

Number of obs = 41
Spearman's rho = 0.4893

Test of Ho: total and patents are independent
Prob > |t| = 0.0012

At the eleven minute mark I had a (not so sophisticated) test of the hypothesis. The evidence suggests a positive and statistically significant relationship between a sport's popularity and the number of patents that contain that sport's name. Whew.

Carry on.

Comments: Post a Comment



Purchase




Le Chai - galerie du vin



Support



Popularity

Posts that contain Craig Depken per day for the last 90 days.



Contacts

Heavy Lifting's Main Page
Email Me
Atom Feed

WWW
Heavy Lifting




Great Links

Money I Found Today

Heavy Lifting - Firehose style (56k warning)



Recent Posts

- On Sport Popularity and Patents




Archives


home


Visitors
Site Meter Blogroll Me!



Credits

Modified maystar design
powered by blogger