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Patents in the University: Priming the Pump and Crowding Out

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  • Suzanne Scotchmer

Abstract

The Bayh-Dole Act allows universities to exploit patents on their federally sponsored research. University laboratories therefore have two sources of funds: direct grants from sponsors and income from licensing. Tax credits for private R&D also contribute, because they increase the profitability of licensing. Because Bayh-Dole profits are a source of funds, the question arises how subsidies and Bayh-Dole profits fit together. I show that subsidies to the university can either "prime the pump" for spending out of Bayh-Dole funds, or can crowd it out. Because of crowding out, if the sponsor wants to increase university spending beyond the university's own target, it will end up funding the entire research bill, just as if there were no profit opportunities under the Bayh-Dole Act. A subsidy system that requires university matching can mitigate this problem.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19252.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Publication status: published as Suzanne Scotchmer, 2013. "Patents in the University: Priming the Pump and Crowding Out," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 817-844, 09.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19252

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  1. Rebecca Henderson & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1998. "Universities As A Source Of Commercial Technology: A Detailed Analysis Of University Patenting, 1965-1988," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 119-127, February.
  2. Mowery, David C. & Ziedonis, Arvids A., 2002. "Academic patent quality and quantity before and after the Bayh-Dole act in the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 399-418, March.
  3. O'DONOGHUE, Ted & SCOTCHMER, Suzanne & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Patent breadth, patent life, and the pace of technological progress," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1314, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Erkal, Nisvan & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2009. "Scarcity of Ideas and R&D Options: Use it, Lose it, or Bank it," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt74c709qr, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  5. Grimaldi, Rosa & Kenney, Martin & Siegel, Donald S. & Wright, Mike, 2011. "30 years after Bayh-Dole: Reassessing academic entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1045-1057, October.
  6. Richard Jensen & Jerry Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2010. "University-Industry Spillovers, Government Funding, and Industrial Consulting," NBER Working Papers 15732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Thursby, Jerry G. & Thursby, Marie C., 2011. "Has the Bayh-Dole act compromised basic research?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1077-1083, October.
  8. Nisvan Erkal & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2008. "Scarcity of Ideas and Options to Invest in R&D," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1035, The University of Melbourne.
  9. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1999. "On the Optimality of the Patent Renewal System," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 181-196, Summer.
  10. Saul Lach & Mark Schankerman, 2008. "Incentives and invention in universities," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 403-433.
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