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The Impact of University Research on Corporate Patenting

  • Christian Helmers
  • Mark Rogers

This paper analyses the association between the number of patenting manufacturing firms and the quantity and quality of relevant university research across UK postcode areas. We show that different measures of research `power' and `excellence' positively affect the patenting of small firms within the same postcode area. Patenting by large firms, in contrast, is unaffected by research undertaken in nearby universities. This confirms the commonly held view that location matters more for small firms than large firms. We also investigate specific channels of technology transfer, finding that university-industry knowledge transfer occurs through both formal and informal channels. From a methodological point of view, we contribute to the existing literature by accounting for potential simultaneity between university research and patenting of local firms by adopting an instrumental variable approach. Moreover, we also allow for the effects of the presence of universities in neighbouring postcode areas to influence firms' patenting activity by incorporating spatial neighborhood effects.

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Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0054.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0054
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  1. Yusuf, Shahid, 2008. "Intermediating knowledge exchange between universities and businesses," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1167-1174, September.
  2. Laura Abramovsky & Helen Simpson, 2011. "Geographic proximity and firm--university innovation linkages: evidence from Great Britain," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(6), pages 949-977, November.
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  9. Shawn Kantor & Alexander Whalley, 2009. "Do Universities Generate Agglomeration Spillovers? Evidence from Endowment Value Shocks," NBER Working Papers 15299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-52, December.
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  11. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
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  16. Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers, 2009. "Patents, Entrepreneurship and Performance," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-095, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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