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

Author

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  • Philippe Aghion

    (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, Department of Economics, Harvard University, Chaire Economie des institutions, de l'innovation et de la croissance - CdF (institution) - Collège de France)

  • Mathias Dewatripont

    (ULB - Université libre de 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

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation;

    JEL classification:

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

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