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The Determinants of Faculty Patenting Behavior: Demographics or Opportunities?

  • Pierre Azoulay
  • Waverly Ding
  • Toby Stuart
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    We examine the individual, contextual, and institutional determinants of faculty patenting behavior in a panel dataset spanning the careers of 3,884 academic life scientists. Using a combination of discrete time hazard rate models and fixed effects logistic models, we find that patenting events are preceded by a flurry of publications, even holding constant time-invariant scientific talent and the latent patentability of a scientist's research. Moreover, the magnitude of the effect of this flurry is influenced by context --- such as the presence of coauthors who patent and the patent stock of the scientist's university. Whereas previous research emphasized that academic patenters are more accomplished on average than their non-patenting counterparts, our findings suggest that patenting behavior is also a function of scientific opportunities. This result has important implications for the public policy debate surrounding academic patenting.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11348.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11348.

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    Date of creation: May 2005
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    Publication status: published as Azoulay, Pierre, Waverly Ding, and Toby Stuart. "The determinants of faculty patenting behavior: Demographics or opportunities?" Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 63, 4 (August 2007): 599-623.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11348
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    7. Paula Stephan & Shiferaw Gurmu & Albert Sumell & Grant Black, 2007. "Who'S Patenting In The University? Evidence From The Survey Of Doctorate Recipients," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 71-99.
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    11. Hall, Bronwyn H & Jaffe, Adam B & Trajtenberg, Manuel, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citations Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," CEPR Discussion Papers 3094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    14. Murray, Fiona, 2002. "Innovation as co-evolution of scientific and technological networks: exploring tissue engineering," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1389-1403, December.
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