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The Scientific Productivity Of Academic Inventors: New Evidence From Italian Data

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  • S. Breschi
  • F. Lissoni
  • F. Montobbio

Abstract

We investigate the scientific productivity of Italian academic inventors, namely academic researchers designated as inventors on patent applications to the European Patent Office, 1978-1999. We use a novel longitudinal data set comprising 299 academic inventors, and we match them with an equal number of non-patenting researchers. We enquire whether a trade-off between publishing and patenting, or a trade-off between basic and applied research exists, on the basis of the number and quality of publications. We find no trace of such a trade-off, and find instead a strong and positive relationship between patenting and publishing, even in basic science. Our results suggest, however, that it is not patenting per se that boosts scientific productivity, but the advantage derived from solid links with industry, as the strongest correlation between publishing and patenting activity is found when patents are owned by business partners, rather than individual scientists or their universities.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Breschi & F. Lissoni & F. Montobbio, 2007. "The Scientific Productivity Of Academic Inventors: New Evidence From Italian Data," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 101-118.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:16:y:2007:i:2:p:101-118
    DOI: 10.1080/10438590600982830
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    Keywords

    Scientific productivity; Academic inventors; University patents;

    JEL classification:

    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • 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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