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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

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  1. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  3. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
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  5. Michael Fritsch & Viktor Slavtchev, 2007. "Universities and Innovation in Space," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 201-218.
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  8. Dietmar Harhoff, 1999. "Firm Formation And Regional Spillovers - Evidence From Germany," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1-2), pages 27-55.
  9. Thursby, Jerry & Fuller, Anne W. & Thursby, Marie, 2009. "US faculty patenting: Inside and outside the university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 14-25, February.
  10. Laura Abramovsky & Rupert Harrison & Helen Simpson, 2007. "University research and the location of business R&D," IFS Working Papers W07/02, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. 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.
  12. Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers, 2009. "Patents, Entrepreneurship and Performance," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-095, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  13. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1998. "Innovation in Cities: Science-Based Diversity, Specialization and Localized Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1980, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
  15. Audretsch, David B, 1998. "Agglomeration and the Location of Innovative Activity," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 18-29, Summer.
  16. Yusuf, Shahid, 2008. "Intermediating knowledge exchange between universities and businesses," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1167-1174, September.
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