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What do Scientists Want: Money or Fame?


  • Devrim Göktepe

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics)

  • Prashanth Mahagaonkar

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics)


What makes scientists patent and disclose inventions to employers? Using a new dataset on Max Planck scientists, we explore their motivations to patent and/or disclose inventions. We propose that patenting need not be used for monetary benefits. Scientists value reputation as important use patenting and disclosures as a signal to gain it. We find that it is not monetary benefits that drive patenting and disclosures but expectation of reputation. We also find that experience with the employer matters for disclosure of inventions. This may imply that patents are indeed used as information transfer mechanisms with prime motivation being reputation.

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  • Devrim Göktepe & Prashanth Mahagaonkar, 2008. "What do Scientists Want: Money or Fame?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2008-032, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2008-032

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2011. "Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 510-527, May.
    2. Edwin Leuven & Mikael Lindahl & Hessel Oosterbeek & Dinand Webbink, 2007. "The Effect of Extra Funding for Disadvantaged Pupils on Achievement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 721-736, November.
    3. van der Sluis, Justin & van Praag, Mirjam C. & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, 2007. "Why Are the Returns to Education Higher for Entrepreneurs than for Employees?," IZA Discussion Papers 3058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Pluvia Zuniga, 2011. "The State of Patenting at Research Institutions in Developing Countries: Policy Approaches and Practices," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 04, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, revised Dec 2011.
    2. Allen T. Alexander & Kristel Miller & Sean Fielding, 2015. "Open For Business: Universities, Entrepreneurial Academics And Open Innovation," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 19(06), pages 1-21, December.
    3. C. Wickramasinghe & Nobaya Ahmad & Sharifah Rashid & Zahid Emby, 2011. "Impact of Subjective Well-Being on Success of Technological Knowledge Creation among Independent Inventors in Developing Countries: A First Look at Sri Lanka," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 2(3), pages 432-452, September.
    4. repec:wip:wpaper:4 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    university patenting; inventors; incentives;

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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