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Absorptive Capacity, Coauthoring Behavior, and the Organization of Research in Drug Discovery


  • Cockburn, Iain M
  • Henderson, Rebecca M


The authors examine the interface between for-profit and publicly funded pharmaceuticals. Firms access upstream basic research through investments in absorptive capacity in the form of in-house basic research and 'propublication' internal incentives. Some firms also maintain extensive connections to the wider scientific community, which they measure using data on coauthorship of scientific papers between pharmaceutical company scientists and publicly funded researchers. 'Connectedness' is significantly correlated with firms' internal organization, as well as their performance in drug discovery. The estimated impact of connectedness on private research productivity implies a substantial return to public investments in basic research. Copyright 1998 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Suggested Citation

  • Cockburn, Iain M & Henderson, Rebecca M, 1998. "Absorptive Capacity, Coauthoring Behavior, and the Organization of Research in Drug Discovery," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 157-182, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:46:y:1998:i:2:p:157-82

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    References listed on IDEAS

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