Invention in Times of Global Challenges: A Text-Based Study of Remote Sensing and Global Public Goods

  • Autoren:

    Ott, I., Vannuccini, S.

  • Quelle:

    Economies, Vol. 11, 2023, 207

  • Datum: August 2023
  • Abstract
    We study whether remote sensing (RS), a set of technologies with global reach and a variety of applications, can be considered instrumental to the provision of global public goods (GPG). We exploit text information from patent data and apply structural topic modeling to identify topics related (or relevant) to GPG provision, and trace their participation in the evolution of remote sensing technology over time. We develop a new indicator of affinity to GPG (and other themes) using meta information from our dataset. We find that, first, RS displays features of a general-purpose technology. Second, while peripheral, GPG-relevant topics are present in the RS topic space, and in some cases overlap with topics with high affinity in AI and participation of public sector actors in invention. With our analysis, we contribute to a better understanding of the interplay between the dynamics of technology and (global) political economy, a field of research yet under-explored.