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Who'S Patenting In The University? Evidence From The Survey Of Doctorate Recipients


  • Paula Stephan
  • Shiferaw Gurmu
  • Albert Sumell
  • Grant Black


We use the Survey of Doctorate Recipients to examine the question of who in US universities is patenting. Because standard methods of estimation are not directly applicable, we use a zero-inflated negative binomial model to estimate the patent equation, using instruments for the number of articles to avoid problems of endogeneity. We also estimate the patent model using the generalized method of moments estimation of count data models with endogenous regressors. We find work context and field to be important predictors of the number of patent applications. We also find patents to be positively and significantly related to the number of publications. This finding is robust to the choice of instruments and method of estimation. The cross-sectional nature of the data preclude an examination of whether a trade-off exists between publishing and patenting, holding individual characteristics constant over time. But the strong cross-sectional correlation that we find does not suggest that commercialization has come at the expense of placing knowledge in the public domain.

Suggested Citation

  • Paula Stephan & Shiferaw Gurmu & Albert Sumell & Grant Black, 2007. "Who'S Patenting In The University? Evidence From The Survey Of Doctorate Recipients," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 71-99.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:16:y:2007:i:2:p:71-99
    DOI: 10.1080/10438590600982806

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mario Calderini & Chiara Franzoni & Andrea Vezzulli, 2005. "If Star Scientists do not Patent: an Event History Analysis of Scientific Eminence and the Decision to Patent in the Academic World," KITeS Working Papers 169, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Jun 2005.
    2. Kira Fabrizio & Alberto Di Minin, 2004. "Commercializing the laboratory: the relationship between faculty patenting and publishing," Working Papers 200402, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, Istituto di Management.
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