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The Determinants of Faculty Patenting Behavior: Demographics or Opportunities?

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  • Pierre Azoulay
  • Waverly Ding
  • Toby Stuart
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    Abstract

    We examine the individual, contextual, and institutional determinants of faculty patenting behavior in a panel dataset spanning the careers of 3,884 academic life scientists. Using a combination of discrete time hazard rate models and fixed effects logistic models, we find that patenting events are preceded by a flurry of publications, even holding constant time-invariant scientific talent and the latent patentability of a scientist's research. Moreover, the magnitude of the effect of this flurry is influenced by context --- such as the presence of coauthors who patent and the patent stock of the scientist's university. Whereas previous research emphasized that academic patenters are more accomplished on average than their non-patenting counterparts, our findings suggest that patenting behavior is also a function of scientific opportunities. This result has important implications for the public policy debate surrounding academic patenting.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11348.

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    Date of creation: May 2005
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    Publication status: published as Pierre Azoulay, Waverly Ding, Toby Stuart. "The Determinants of Faculty Patenting Behavior: Demographics or Opportunities?," in Adam Jaffe, Josh Lerner, Scott Stern, Marie Thursby, organizers, "Academic Science and Entrepreneurship: Dual Engines of Growth" Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 63(4) (Elsevier) (2007)
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11348

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    References

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    1. Ajay Agrawal & Rebecca Henderson, 2002. "Putting Patents in Context: Exploring Knowledge Transfer from MIT," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 44-60, January.
    2. Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
    3. Murray, Fiona, 2002. "Innovation as co-evolution of scientific and technological networks: exploring tissue engineering," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1389-1403, December.
    4. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Hall, B. & Jaffe, A. & Trajtenberg, M., 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," Papers 2001-29, Tel Aviv.
    7. 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.
    8. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
    9. Paula Stephan & Jennifer Ma, 2005. "The Increased Frequency and Duration of the Postdoctorate Career Stage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 71-75, May.
    10. Paula Stephan & Shiferaw Gurmu & Albert Sumell & Grant Black, 2007. "Who'S Patenting In The University? Evidence From The Survey Of Doctorate Recipients," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 71-99.
    11. Etzkowitz, Henry, 1998. "The norms of entrepreneurial science: cognitive effects of the new university-industry linkages," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 823-833, December.
    12. Di Gregorio, Dante & Shane, Scott, 2003. "Why do some universities generate more start-ups than others?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 209-227, February.
    13. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    14. Jaffe, Adam B & Lerner, Josh, 2001. "Reinventing Public R&D: Patent Policy and the Commercialization of National Laboratory Technologies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 167-98, Spring.
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    Cited by:
    1. Heisey, Paul W. & Day-Rubenstein, Kelly A. & King, John L., 2006. "Government Patenting And Technology Transfer," Economic Research Report 33597, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Pierre Azoulay & Waverly Ding & Toby Stuart, 2006. "The Impact of Academic Patenting on the Rate, Quality, and Direction of (Public) Research Output," NBER Working Papers 11917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andrew A. Toole & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2009. "Exploring the Relationship Between Scientist Human Capital and Firm Performance: The Case of Biomedical Academic Entrepreneurs in the SBIR Program," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(1), pages 101-114, January.
    4. Réjean Landry & Nabil Amara & Malek Saïhi, 2007. "Patenting and spin-off creation by Canadian researchers in engineering and life sciences," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 217-249, June.

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