Lukas Rosenberger

Postdoctoral Scholar
Northwestern University

Lukas Rosenberger

About Me

I am a Postdoctoral Scholar in Economics at Northwestern University’s Center for Economic History. I expect to graduate Ph.D. in Economics from LMU Munich in early 2023 with a dissertation on “Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, and the Knowledge Economy”. During my doctoral studies, I visited Northwestern University (October 2021 to June 2022) and Brown University (January to May 2020).

Bio: [curriculum vitae]

Contact: lukas.rosenberger(a)northwestern.edu

Working Papers

Why Britain? The Right Place (in the Technology Space) at the Right Time [Paper]
  with Carl Hallmann and W. Walker Hanlon, July 2022 (NBER Summer Institute version)

Abstract Why did Britain attain economic leadership during the Industrial Revolution? We argue that Britain possessed an important but underappreciated innovation advantage: British inventors worked in technologies that were more central within the innovation network. We offer a new approach for measuring the innovation network using patent data from Britain and France in the 18th and early 19th century. We show that the network influenced innovation outcomes and then demonstrate that British inventors worked in more central technologies within the innovation network than inventors from France. Then, drawing on recently-developed theoretical tools, we quantify the implications for technology growth rates in Britain compared to France. Our results indicate that the shape of the innovation network, and the location of British inventors within it, can help explain the more rapid technological growth in Britain during the Industrial Revolution.

Invention and Technological Leadership during the Industrial Revolution [Paper]
  with Carl Hallmann and Emre E. Yavuz, November 2021

Abstract This paper provides the first empirical cross-country evidence on inventive activity during the Industrial Revolution. Idiosyncrasies in the French historic patent law allow us to compare invention rates in Britain and France across sectors based on French patent data from 1791 to 1855. Our key result is a robust, positive association of invention rates in Britain and France at the sectoral level. Furthermore, we provide the first quantitative evidence on technological leadership in invention at the sectoral level. The evidence informs a debate about whether the acceleration of technological progress during the Industrial Revolution mainly was a British or a European achievement, which has implications for theories of growth and innovation.