IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Incentives and Invention in Universities

  • Saul Lach
  • Mark Schankerman

Using data on U.S. universities, we show that universities that give higher royalty shares to faculty scientists generate greater license income, controlling for university size, academic quality, research funding and other factors. We use pre-sample data on university patenting to control for the potential endogeneity of royalty shares. We find that scientists respond both to cash royalties and to royalties used to support their research labs, suggesting both pecuniary and intrinsic (research) motivations. The incentive effects appear to be larger in private universities than in public ones, and we provide survey evidence indicating this may be related to differences in the use of performance pay, government constraints, and local development objectives of technology license offices. Royalty incentives work both by raising faculty effort and sorting scientists across universities. The effect of incentives works primarily by increasing the quality (value) rather than the quantity of inventions.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0729.

in new window

Date of creation: Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0729
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:3:p:577-98 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Patents, Citations, and Innovations: A Window on the Knowledge Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026260065x, June.
  3. Audretsch, David B & Stephan, Paula E, 1996. "Company-Scientist Locational Links: The Case of Biotechnology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 641-52, June.
  4. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  5. James Adams & Zvi Griliches, 1996. "Measuring Science: An Exploration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1749, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Jeremy C. Stein, 2005. "Academic Freedom, Private-Sector Focus, and the Process of Innovation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2089, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. James D. Adams & Zvi Griliches, 1996. "Research Productivity in a System of Universities," NBER Working Papers 5833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edward P. Lazear, 1996. "Incentives in Basic Research," NBER Working Papers 5444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
  10. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  11. Siegel, Donald S. & Waldman, David & Link, Albert, 2003. "Assessing the impact of organizational practices on the relative productivity of university technology transfer offices: an exploratory study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 27-48, January.
  12. Ajay Agrawal & Rebecca Henderson, 2002. "Putting Patents in Context: Exploring Knowledge Transfer from MIT," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 44-60, January.
  13. repec:oup:qjecon:v:108:y:1993:i:3:p:577-98 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. repec:oup:restud:v:66:y:1999:i:3:p:529-54 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-32, March.
  16. Marie Thursby & Richard Jensen, 2001. "Proofs and Prototypes for Sale: The Licensing of University Inventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 240-259, March.
  17. 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.
  18. Thursby, Jerry G & Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie C, 2001. " Objectives, Characteristics and Outcomes of University Licensing: A Survey of Major U.S. Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 59-72, January.
  19. Macho-Stadler Inés & Pérez-Castrillo David & Veugelers Reinhilde, 2005. "Licensing of University Inventions: The Role of a Technology Transfer Office," Working Papers 201022, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  20. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Market Value and Patent Citations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 16-38, Spring.
  21. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
  22. Thursby, Jerry G. & Kemp, Sukanya, 2002. "Growth and productive efficiency of university intellectual property licensing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 109-124, January.
  23. Payne A. Abigail & Siow Aloysius, 2003. "Does Federal Research Funding Increase University Research Output?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, May.
  24. repec:adr:anecst:y:1998:i:49-50:p:05 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. James D. Adams, 2002. "Comparative localization of academic and industrial spillovers," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages 253-278, July.
  26. Bercovitz, Janet, et al, 2001. " Organizational Structure as a Determinant of Academic Patent and Licensing Behavior: An Exploratory Study of Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Pennsylvania State Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 21-35, January.
  27. Friedman, Joseph & Silberman, Jonathan, 2003. " University Technology Transfer: Do Incentives, Management, and Location Matter?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 17-30, January.
  28. Coupe, Tom, 2003. " Science Is Golden: Academic R&D and University Patents," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 31-46, January.
  29. Sharon Belenzon & Mark Schankerman, 2007. "Harnessing Success: Determinants of UniversityTechnology Licensing Performance," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 44, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  30. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
  31. Mark Schankerman, 1998. "How Valuable is Patent Protection? Estimates by Technology Field," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 77-107, Spring.
  32. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0729. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.