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Of Mice and Academics: Examining the Effect of Openness on Innovation

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe Aghion

    (CDF - Collège de France - CdF - Collège de France, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University)

  • Mathias Dewatripont

    (ULB - Université Libre de Bruxelles [Bruxelles])

  • Julian Kolev

    (Department of Economics, Harvard University)

  • Fiona Murray

    (MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Scott Stern

    (MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Abstract

This paper argues that openness, by lowering costs to access existing research, can enhance both early and late stage innovation through greater exploration of novel research directions. We examine a natural experiment in openness: late-1990s NIH agreements that reduced academics' access costs regarding certain genetically engineered mice. Implementing difference-in-differences estimators, we find that increased openness encourages entry by new researchers and exploration of more diverse research paths, and does not reduce the creation of new genetically engineered mice. Our findings highlight a neglected cost of strong intellectual property restrictions: lower levels of exploration leading to reduced diversity of research output.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Julian Kolev & Fiona Murray & Scott Stern, 2016. "Of Mice and Academics: Examining the Effect of Openness on Innovation," Post-Print halshs-01496928, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01496928
    DOI: 10.1257/pol.20140062
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01496928
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:wfo:wstudy:44635 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Alexy, Oliver & Reitzig, Markus, 2013. "Private–collective innovation, competition, and firms’ counterintuitive appropriation strategies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 895-913.
    3. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 107-155 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dosi, Giovanni & Nelson, Richard R., 2010. "Technical Change and Industrial Dynamics as Evolutionary Processes," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    5. Anders Broström, 2012. "Firms’ rationales for interaction with research universities and the principles for public co-funding," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 313-329, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Gans, Joshua S. & Murray, Fiona E. & Stern, Scott, 2017. "Contracting over the disclosure of scientific knowledge: Intellectual property and academic publication," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 820-835.
    8. Joshua S. Gans & Fiona Murray, 2014. "Credit History: The Changing Nature of Scientific Credit," NBER Chapters,in: The Changing Frontier: Rethinking Science and Innovation Policy, pages 107-131 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:wip:wpaper:6 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Thomas Hellmann & Enrico Perotti, 2011. "The Circulation of Ideas in Firms and Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(10), pages 1813-1826, October.
    11. Staudt, Joseph, 2017. "Mandating Access: Assessing the NIH's Public Access Policy," MPRA Paper 82981, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Simeth, Markus & Raffo, Julio D., 2013. "What makes companies pursue an Open Science strategy?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1531-1543.
    13. Kevin J. Boudreau, 2018. "Amateurs Crowds & Professional Entrepreneurs as Platform Complementors," NBER Working Papers 24512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Yongmin Chen & David E.M. Sappington, 2018. "An optimal rule for patent damages under sequential innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 49(2), pages 370-397, June.
    15. Birgitte Andersen & Federica Rossi, 2011. "Intellectual property governance and knowledge creation in UK universities," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(8), pages 701-725, September.
    16. Boudreau, Kevin J. & Lakhani, Karim R., 2015. "“Open” disclosure of innovations, incentives and follow-on reuse: Theory on processes of cumulative innovation and a field experiment in computational biology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 4-19.
    17. Larsen, Maria Theresa, 2011. "The implications of academic enterprise for public science: An overview of the empirical evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 6-19, February.
    18. John T. Scott, 2016. "Creativity for invention insights: corporate strategies and opportunities for public entrepreneurship," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 43(4), pages 409-448, December.
    19. Jing-Yuan, Chiou, 2012. "In the shadow of giants," MPRA Paper 37033, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Ugo Pagano & Maria Alessandra Rossi, 2016. "The knowledge economy, the crash and the depression," Department of Economics University of Siena 741, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    21. Fehder, Daniel C. & Murray, Fiona & Stern, Scott, 2014. "Intellectual property rights and the evolution of scientific journals as knowledge platforms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 83-94.
    22. Mueller-Langer, Frank & Scheufen, Marc & Waelbroeck, Patrick, 2017. "Does Online Access Promote Research in Developing Countries?," Discussion Papers in Economics 31973, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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