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[The 9th AIEA-NBER Conference] Working Paper - Ryo Nakajima

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DATE 2021.11.17 16:02

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EXAMINING PATENT EXAMINERS: PRESENT BIAS, PROCRASTINATION AND TASK PERFORMANCE
 
Ryo Nakajima
Michitaka Sasaki
Ryuichi Tamura
 
AIEA Working Paper A210806  Issue date August 2021
 
 
This paper explores the unproductive procrastination behavior of patent examiners, probes
whether such behavior is caused by present-biased preferences, and estimates the magnitude. We
set out a quasihyperbolic discounting model where a patent examiner is assigned a biweekly quota
of patent application reviews and determines the level of effort by the deadline. We estimate the
present-bias factor of each patent examiner based on patent prosecution data in the U.S. and
nd that the proportion of present-biased individuals exceeds the majority. We demonstrate that
the job separation rate is higher for less present-biased patent examiners, and a fragmented work
quota can improve patent examination quality and timeliness.
 
Keywords: Procrastination, Patent Examination, Present Bias, Quasihyperbolic Discounting
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