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Patent Licensing and the Research University

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  • Richard A. Jensen
  • Marie C. Thursby

Abstract

We construct a dynamic model of university research that allows us to examine recent concerns that financial incentives associated with university patent licensing are detrimental to the traditional mission of US research universities. We assume a principal-agent framework in which the university administration is the principal and a faculty researcher is the agent. Whether or not the researcher remains in the university, and if so her choice of the amount of time to spend on basic and applied research, is complicated by the fact that she earns license income and prestige both inside and outside the university. Thus in contrast to usual principal agent models the participation constraint is endogenous. This, plus the fact that current research affects future knowledge stocks, allows us to show that it is far from obvious that licensing will damage basic research and education.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10758.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10758

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References

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  1. Nancy T. Gallini, 2002. "The Economics of Patents: Lessons from Recent U.S. Patent Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 131-154, Spring.
  2. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Thursby, Jerry G & Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie C, 2001. " Objectives, Characteristics and Outcomes of University Licensing: A Survey of Major U.S. Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 59-72, January.
  4. DEL REY, Elena, . "Teaching versus research: a model of state university competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1501, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2000. "Who is Selling the Ivory Tower? Sources of Growth in University Licensing," NBER Working Papers 7718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Stephan, Paula E, 2001. " Educational Implications of University-Industry Technology Transfer," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 199-205, June.
  7. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Jeff Armstrong, 1994. "Intellectual Capital and the Firm: The Technology of Geographically Localized Knowledge Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
  9. Louis, Karen Seashore, et al, 2001. " Entrepreneurship, Secrecy, and Productivity: A Comparison of Clinical and Non-clinical Life Sciences Faculty," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 233-45, June.
  10. Richard A. Jensen & Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2003. "The Disclosure and Licensing of University Inventions," NBER Working Papers 9734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
  12. Iain Cockburn & Rebecca Henderson & Scott Stern, 1999. "Balancing Incentives: The Tension Between Basic and Applied Research," NBER Working Papers 6882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Stephan, Paula E & Levin, Sharon G, 1996. " Property Rights and Entrepreneurship in Science," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 177-88, June.
  14. Borooah, Vani K, 1994. " Modelling Institutional Behaviour: A Microeconomic Analysis of University Management," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(1-2), pages 101-24, October.
  15. John Beath & Robert Owen & Joanna Poyago-Theotoky & David Ulph, 2000. "Optimal Incentives for Income-Generation within Universities," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200007, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  16. Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
  17. Jerry Thursby & Marie Thursby, 2005. "Gender Patterns of Research and Licensing Activity of Science and Engineering Faculty," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 343-353, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Arvanitis, Spyros & Kubli, Ursina & Woerter, Martin, 2008. "University-industry knowledge and technology transfer in Switzerland: What university scientists think about co-operation with private enterprises," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1865-1883, December.
  2. Marie Thursby & Jerry Thursby & Swasti Gupta-Mukherjee, 2005. "Are There Real Effects of Licensing on Academic Research? A Life Cycle View," NBER Working Papers 11497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Spyros Arvanitis & Ursina Kubli & Martin Woerter, 2006. "University-Industry Knowledge Interaction in Switzerland: What University Scientists Think about Co-operation with Private Enterprises," KOF Working papers 06-132, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  4. Baldini, Nicola, 2006. "The patenting universities: Problems and perils," MPRA Paper 853, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. David B. Audretsch & Taylor Aldridge & Alexander Oettl, 2006. "The Knowledge Filter and Economic Growth: The Role of Scientist Entrepreneurship," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2006-11, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  6. Thursby, Jerry G. & Thursby, Marie C., 2011. "Faculty participation in licensing: Implications for research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 20-29, February.
  7. Geuna, Aldo & Nesta, Lionel J.J., 2006. "University patenting and its effects on academic research: The emerging European evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 790-807, July.
  8. Puay Tang & Dagmara Weckowska & André Campos & Michael Hobday, 2010. "Managing Intellectual Property in Universities: Patents and the Protection Failure Problem," SPRU Working Paper Series 188, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  9. Calderini, Mario & Franzoni, Chiara & Vezzulli, Andrea, 2007. "If star scientists do not patent: The effect of productivity, basicness and impact on the decision to patent in the academic world," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 303-319, April.

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