This paper extends the line of research attempting to link innovation to economic growth by addressing some unexplored questions Using global patent data this paper empirically investigates the importance of both the quantity and quality of innovation on economic growth controlling for past measures of inventive inputs Moreover our research examines how innovation Inputs can be translated Into per capita growth under the various economic structures and stages of economic development Based on a sample of 58 countries for the period 1980-2003 our empirical results indicate that countries hosting firms with higher quality patents also have higher economic growth Furthermore we have some evidence that those countries that Increase the level of patenting also witness a concomitant increase in economic growth (C) 2010 Elsevier B V All rights reserved