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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 9, 2020

Network-Mediated Knowledge Spillovers in ICT/Information Security

Neil Gandal ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Nadav Kunievsky and Lee Branstetter


A large literature has used patent data to measure knowledge spillovers across inventions but few papers have explicitly measured the impact of the collaboration networks formed by inventors on the quality of invention. This paper develops a method to measure the impact of collaboration networks of inventors on invention quality. We apply this methodology to the information and communication technology (ICT) and information security sectors in Israel and find that the quality of Israeli inventions are systematically linked to the structure of the collaborative network in these sectors. We are very grateful to the editor Lukasz Grzybowski and an anonymous referee for very helpful comments and suggestions that significantly improved the paper. We thank the Maurice Falk Institute for Economic Research in Israel, Start-Up Nation Central, the U. S. National Science Foundation (SciSIP grants 1360165 and 1360170), and Portugal’s Foundation for Science and Technology for financial support of this research. Lee Branstetter’s work on this project was supported by the National Science Foundation and we thank Britta Glennon for excellent research assistance. We are also grateful to Tim Bresnahan, Eugene Kandel, Imke Reimers, and seminar/conference participants at the 19th CEPR IO conference, the 10th Paris conference on Digital Economics, Collegio Carlo Alberto, Hebrew University, Stanford University, Tel Aviv University, ad UC-Berkeley and for helpful comments and suggestions. © 2020 by Neil Gandal, Nadav Kunievsky, and Lee Branstetter. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including the © notice, is given to the source.

Corresponding author: Neil Gandal, Tel Aviv University & CEPR, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, E-mail:

Funding source: Start-Up Nation Central

Funding source: Maurice Falk Institute for Economic Research in Israel

Funding source: National Science Foundation

Award Identifier / Grant number: SciSIP 1360165

Funding source: National Science Foundation

Award Identifier / Grant number: SciSIP 1360170

Funding source: Portugal Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT)

Appendix Patent classes

A1: Relevant patent classes for ICT/Information security:

326Electronic digital logic circuitry, subclass 8 for digital logic circuits acting to disable or prevent access to stored data or designated integrated circuit structure.
340Communications: Electrical, subclasses 5.2 through 5.74, for authorization control without significant data process features claimed, particularly subclasses 5.22–5.25 for programmable or code learning authorization control; and subclasses 5.8–5.86 for intelligence comparison for authentication.
365Static information storage and retrieval, subclass 185.04 for floating gate memory device having ability for securing data signal from being erased from memory cells.
380Cryptography, subclasses 200 through 242 for video with data encryption; subclasses 243–246 for facsimile encryption; subclasses 247–250 for cellular telephone cryptographic authentication; subclass 251 for electronic game using cryptography; subclasses 255–276 for communication using cryptography; subclasses 277–47 for key management; and subclasses 287–53 for electrical signal modification with digital signal handling.
455Telecommunications, subclass 410 for security or fraud prevention in a radiotelephone system.
704Data processing: Speech signal processing, linguistics, language translation, and audio compression/Decompression, subclass 273 for an application of speech processing in a security system.
705Data processing: Financial, business practice, management, or cost/price determination, subclass 18 for security in an electronic cash register or point of sale terminal having password entry mode, and subclass 44 for authorization or authentication in a credit transaction or loan processing system.
708Electrical computers: Arithmetic processing and calculating, subclass 135 for electrical digital calculating computer with specialized input for security.
709,Electrical computers and digital processing systems: Multicomputer data transferring, subclass 225 for controlling which of plural computers may transfer data via a communications medium.
710Electrical computers and digital data processing systems: Input/Output, subclasses 36 through 51 for regulating access of peripherals to computers or vice-versa; subclasses 107–125 for regulating access of processors or memories to a bus; and subclasses 200–240 for general purpose access regulating and arbitration.
711Electrical computers and digital processing systems: Memory, subclass 150 for regulating access to shared memories, subclasses 163–164 for preventing unauthorized memory access requests.
713Electrical computers and digital processing systems: Support, subclasses 150 through 181 for multiple computer communication using cryptography; subclasses 182–186 for system access control based on user identification by cryptography; subclass 187 for computer program modification detection by cryptography; subclass 188 for computer virus detection by cryptography; and subclasses 189–194 for data processing protection using cryptography.
714Error detection/Correction and fault detection/recovery, subclasses 1 through 57 for recovering from, locating, or detecting a system fault caused by malicious or unauthorized access (e.g. by virus, etc.).
726Protection of data processing systems, apparatus, and methods as well as protection of information and services.


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Received: 2020-06-20
Accepted: 2020-10-15
Published Online: 2020-11-09
Published in Print: 2021-01-26

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