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Capturing Technological Opportunity via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products

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  • Zucker, Lynne G
  • Darby, Michael R

Abstract

Using detailed data on biotechnology in Japan, we find that identifiable collaborations between particular university star scientists and firms have a large positive impact on firms' research productivity, increasing the average firm's biotech patents by 34 percent, products in development by 27 percent, and products on the market by 8 percent as of 1989-1990. However, there is little evidence of geographically localized knowledge spillovers. In early industry formation, star scientists holding tacit knowledge required to practice recombinant DNA (genetic engineering) were of great economic value, leading to incentives motivating their participation in technology transfer. In Japan, the legal and institutional context implies that firm scientists work in the stars' university laboratories in contrast to America where the stars are more likely to work in the firm's labs. As a result, star collaborations in Japan are less localized around their research universities so that the universities' local economic development impact is lessened. Stars' scientific productivity is increased less during collaborations with firms in Japan as compared to the U.S. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R, 2001. "Capturing Technological Opportunity via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 37-58, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:26:y:2001:i:1-2:p:37-58
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 1996. "Star Scientists, Institutions, and the Entry of Japanese Biotechnology Enterprises," NBER Working Papers 5795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Marilynn B. Brewer, 1994. "Intellectual Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," NBER Working Papers 4653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lee Branstetter & Mariko Sakakibara, 1997. "Japanese Research Consortia: A Microeconometric Analysis of Industrial Policy," NBER Working Papers 6066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
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    7. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Klevorick, Alvin K. & Levin, Richard C. & Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1995. "On the sources and significance of interindustry differences in technological opportunities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 185-205, March.
    9. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 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 957-970, December.
    11. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Armstrong, Jeff, 1998. "Geographically Localized Knowledge: Spillovers or Markets?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 65-86, January.
    12. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
    13. Cameron, A. Colin & Trivedi, Pravin K., 1990. "Regression-based tests for overdispersion in the Poisson model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 347-364, December.
    14. 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.
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    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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