Several empirical studies show that the size of an economy affects the number of fields where it is technologically active (technological variety). In this paper I “quantify” the relationship between the countries’ economic size and technological variety by using European patent data. Thus, technological variety can be distinguished from technological intensity. I find that technological variety accounts for about 40% of the higher number of patent applications made by larger and richer economies. However, the size/variety relationship is more robust than the wealth/variety relationship. The empirical results regarding technological activity resemble those on international trade and may be interpreted combining different theories.
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