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Financial innovation today and tomorrow

September 14, 2021

Financial innovation is intensely controversial. Nobel laureates have both lauded (Merton 1992, Miller 1986) and excoriated (Stiglitz 2010) these breakthroughs for their economic and social impacts. While economists have made initial steps to grapple with the consequences of financial innovation empirically and theoretically (e.g Beck et al. 2012, Biais et al. 2010), we know remarkably little about the even more basic question of where or by whom these new products and services are developed.
Our recent work with Nick Short and Yuan Sun (Lerner et al. 2021) seeks to address this gap using a newly constructed dataset of over 24,000 financial US patents applied for between 2000 and 2018. Patents can provide a valuable window into the nature of recent financial innovation. 
The

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