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U.S. Universitiesï¾’ Net Returns from Patenting and Licensing: A Quantile Regression Analysis


  • Bulut, Harun
  • Moschini, GianCarlo


In line with the rights and incentives provided by the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, U.S. universities have increased their involvement in patenting and licensing activities through their own technology transfer offices. Only a few U.S. universities are obtaining large returns, however, whereas others are continuing with these activities despite negligible or negative returns. We assess the U.S. universitiesï¾’ potential to generate returns from licensing activities by modeling and estimating quantiles of the distribution of net licensing returns conditional on some of their structural characteristics. We find limited prospects for public universities without a medical school everywhere in their distribution. Other groups of universities (private, and public with a medical school) can expect significant but still fairly modest returns only beyond the 0.9th quantile. These findings call into question the appropriateness of the revenue-generating motive for the aggressive rate of patenting and licensing by U.S. universities.

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  • Bulut, Harun & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2006. "U.S. Universitiesï¾’ Net Returns from Patenting and Licensing: A Quantile Regression Analysis," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12672, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12672

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. He X. & Hu F., 2002. "Markov Chain Marginal Bootstrap," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 783-795, September.
    2. Nelson, Richard R, 2001. "Observations on the Post-Bayh-Dole Rise of Patenting at American Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 13-19, January.
    3. Beath, John & Owen, Robert F. & Poyago-Theotoky, Joanna & Ulph, David, 2003. "Optimal incentives for income-generation in universities: the rule of thumb for the Compton tax," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1301-1322, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Silverberg, Gerald & Verspagen, Bart, 2007. "The size distribution of innovations revisited: An application of extreme value statistics to citation and value measures of patent significance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(2), pages 318-339, August.
    6. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
    7. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, March.
    8. Link, Albert N. & Scott, John T. & Siegel, Donald S., 2003. "The economics of intellectual property at universities: an overview of the special issue," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1217-1225, November.
    9. Saul Lach & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Royalty Sharing and Technology Licensing in Universities," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 252-264, 04/05.
    10. 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.
    11. Jerry G. Thursby & Marie C. Thursby, 2007. "University licensing," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 620-639, Winter.
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