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Academic entrepreneurship

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  • Nicola Lacetera

    (Department of Economics, Weatherhead School of Manangement, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA)

Abstract

This paper proposes a model of the choice to commercialize research, of the amount and type of pre-commercial research to perform, and of the timing of commercialization by an academic scientist, and analyzes the returns and costs of these choices. The behavior and performance of the academic scientist is compared with that of an industrial researcher. Unlike the industrial researcher, the academic scientist receives direct benefit from performing research, e.g. in the form of publication and peer recognition. However, the type of research that is more effective in reducing commercialization costs may not be the one generating the highest scientific benefit. It is shown that, while in some cases the academic scientist is more reluctant to commercialize research, in other cases she may commercialize faster than a solely profit-seeking agent would-and perform less research. Academic and non-academic scientists also select different projects, and this may explain the good performance of academic entrepreneurs found in several empirical studies. The model offers a unified framework to interpret the mixed evidence on the success of, and the arguments in favor and against, the involvement of universities into commercial activities. Managerial and public policy implications are also examined. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Lacetera, 2009. "Academic entrepreneurship," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(7), pages 443-464.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:30:y:2009:i:7:p:443-464
    DOI: 10.1002/mde.1461
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/mde.1461
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Giulio Cainelli & Donato Iacobucci & Alessandra Micozzi, 2015. "Determinants of territorial differences in entrepreneurial rates. An empirical analysis of Italian local systems," Working Papers 1502, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione, revised Feb 2015.
    2. Francesco Lissoni & Fabio Montobbio, 2015. "The Ownership of Academic Patents and Their Impact. Evidence from Five European Countries," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 66(1), pages 143-171.
    3. Wennberg, Karl & Wiklund, Johan & Wright, Mike, 2011. "The effectiveness of university knowledge spillovers: Performance differences between university spinoffs and corporate spinoffs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1128-1143, October.
    4. Banal-Estanol, A. & Macho-Stadler, I., 2008. "Commercial Incentives in Academia," Working Papers 08/13, Department of Economics, City University London.
    5. Stefan Marc Hossinger & Xiangyu Chen & Arndt Werner, 2020. "Drivers, barriers and success factors of academic spin-offs: a systematic literature review," Management Review Quarterly, Springer, vol. 70(1), pages 97-134, February.
    6. Mukherjee, Arijit & Stern, Scott, 2009. "Disclosure or secrecy? The dynamics of Open Science," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 449-462, May.
    7. Goethner, Maximilian & Obschonka, Martin & Silbereisen, Rainer K. & Cantner, Uwe, 2012. "Scientists’ transition to academic entrepreneurship: Economic and psychological determinants," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 628-641.
    8. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Cinzia Daraio, 2013. "Knowledge spillover effects at the sub-regional level. Theory and estimation," DIAG Technical Reports 2013-13, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
    9. Dorner, Matthias & Fryges, Helmut & Schopen, Kathrin, 2017. "Wages in high-tech start-ups – Do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18.
    10. Banal-Estanol, A. & Macho-Stadler, I., 2007. "Financial incentives in academia: research versus development," Working Papers 07/09, Department of Economics, City University London.
    11. Dirk Czarnitzki & Christian Rammer & Andrew Toole, 2014. "University spin-offs and the “performance premium”," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 309-326, August.
    12. Dirk Czarnitzki & Katrin Hussinger & Cédric Schneider, 2011. "Commercializing academic research: the quality of faculty patenting," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(5), pages 1403-1437, October.
    13. Fini, Riccardo & Lacetera, Nicola & Shane, Scott, 2010. "Inside or outside the IP system? Business creation in academia," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1060-1069, October.
    14. Gimmon, Eli & Levie, Jonathan, 2010. "Founder's human capital, external investment, and the survival of new high-technology ventures," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1214-1226, November.
    15. Robertson K. Tengeh & Amelia Rorwana, 2017. "Influence of Spin-off and Private Companies in the process of Technology creation and Transfer at a University of Technology in South Africa," Acta Universitatis Danubius. OEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 13(3), pages 139-154, JUNE.
    16. Christian Sandström & Karl Wennberg & Martin W. Wallin & Yulia Zherlygina, 2018. "Public policy for academic entrepreneurship initiatives: a review and critical discussion," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(5), pages 1232-1256, October.
    17. Andrew A. Toole & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2009. "Exploring the Relationship Between Scientist Human Capital and Firm Performance: The Case of Biomedical Academic Entrepreneurs in the SBIR Program," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(1), pages 101-114, January.

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