Spatial differences in the quality of university patenting: Do regions matter?
This paper uses patent citation data to analyze the quality of university technology across European regions. The empirical analysis draws on a panel dataset of 4580 European university-owned patents classified by 202 European regions over the period 1998–2004. The methodology involves a multilevel framework to identify the effects of factors at three hierarchical levels (individual, university, and regional) on the quality of university patenting. The results suggest that regional factors, such as the level of development, industrial potential, and regional higher education R&D expenditure, do not play any significant role in determining the quality of European university patents. We instead find that the factors affecting patent quality stem from their specific characteristics. We also find that university size does not explain the quality of patents. However, there is significant unobserved heterogeneity at the university level in all models, suggesting that differences in other university characteristics explain a substantial part of the variance in patent quality.
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