Gender differences and patenting in Latin America: understanding female participation in commercial science

Domingo Sifontes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Although female involvement in science and technology has been growing over recent years, it is still low. Latin America is no exception. Even though the Latin American region has achieved significant accomplishments in terms of gender parity, women’s participation in patenting activities remains small compared to that of men. The aim of this study is to explain the rate of female participation in patenting activity. We gather information from 3081 US patents granted to assignees in Latin America. The countries of our sample are Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, México, Panamá, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The study period is from 1976 to 2011. This study reveals that the number of US patent granted with female involvement to the countries in our sample is only 22%. We use a probit model to explain women participation in patenting. Results suggest that external and internal collaboration, the institutional sector of the grantee, and innovations related to the life sciences have an effect on the probability of having female participation in patenting in Latin America. Our findings also show that the fertility rate and the human development of countries impact women participation in patenting in the Latin American region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2009-2036
Number of pages28
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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