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Ivory Tower Versus Corporate Lab: An Empirical Study of Basic Research and Appropriability

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  • Manuel Trajtenberg
  • Rebecca Henderson
  • Adam Jaffe

Abstract

We explore the use of patent citations to measure the "basicness" and appropriability of inventions. We propose that the basicness of research underlying an invention can be characterized by the nature of the previous patents cited by an invention; that the basicness of research outcomes relates to the subsequent patents that cite an invention; and that the fraction of citing patents that are assigned to the same organization as the original invention is a measure of appropriabiity. We test the validity of these presumptions by comparing the value of our measures for university and corporate patents, and find that many of the measures do conform to our a priori belief that university research and research outcomes are more basic and harder to appropriate than those of corporations. We also find some evidence that basicness of outcomes is correlated with basicness of research, and that appropriability is lower for basic outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4146.

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Date of creation: Aug 1992
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4146

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References

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  1. Cockburn, Iain & Griliches, Zvi, 1988. "Industry Effects and Appropriability Measures in the Stock Market's Valuation of R&D and Patents," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 419-23, May.
  2. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-84, July.
  3. Dosi, Giovanni, 1993. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories : A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 102-103, April.
  4. Simon Kuznets, 1962. "Inventive Activity: Problems of Definition and Measurement," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 19-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Market Value, R&D, and Patents," NBER Chapters, in: R & D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 249-252 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
  7. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
  11. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  12. Dasgupta, Partha & David, Paul, 1985. "Information Disclosure and the Economics of Science and Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 73, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Adam B. Jaffe, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 1815, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Carpenter, Mark P. & Narin, Francis, 1983. "Validation study: Patent citations as indicators of science and foreign dependence," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 180-185.
  15. Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2012. "Productivity effects of basic research in low-tech and high-tech industries," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-027, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Fier, Heide & Pyka, Andreas, 2010. "Against the one-way-street: Analyzing knowledge transfer from industry to science," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-048, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Ricardo J. Caballero & Adam B. Jaffe, 1993. "How High are the Giants' Shoulders: An Empirical Assessment of Knowledge Spillovers and Creative Destruction in a Model of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bosetti, Valentina & Carraro, Carlo & Massetti, Emanuele & Tavoni, Massimo, 2008. "International energy R&D spillovers and the economics of greenhouse gas atmospheric stabilization," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2912-2929, November.
  5. Schoenmakers, Wilfred & Duysters, Geert, 2010. "The technological origins of radical inventions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1051-1059, October.
  6. Jovanovic, B. & Nyarko, Y., 1996. "Research and Productivity," Working Papers 96-27, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Timo Boppart & Kevin E. Staub, 2012. "Online accessibility of academic articles and the diversity of economics," ECON - Working Papers 075, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Hart, Rob, 2013. "Directed technological change and factor shares," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 77-80.
  9. Rebecca Henderson & Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 1999. "Universities as a Source of Commercial Technology: A Detailed Analysis of University Patenting 1965-1988," NBER Working Papers 5068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Marilynn B. Brewer, 1999. "Intellectual Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," NBER Working Papers 4653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lach, Saul, 1995. "Patents and productivity growth at the industry level: A first look," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 101-108, July.
  12. Lybbert, Travis J. & Zolas, Nikolas J., 2014. "Getting patents and economic data to speak to each other: An ‘Algorithmic Links with Probabilities’ approach for joint analyses of patenting and economic activity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 530-542.

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