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The Impact of Academic Patenting on the Rate, Quality, and Direction of (Public) Research Output

  • Pierre Azoulay
  • Waverly Ding
  • Toby Stuart
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    We examine the influence of faculty patenting activity on the rate, quality, and content of public research outputs in a panel dataset spanning the careers of 3,862 academic life scientists. Using inverse probability of treatment weights (IPTW) to account for the dynamics of self-selection into patenting, we find that patenting has a positive effect on the rate of publication of journal articles, but no effect on the quality of these publications. Using several measures of the "patentability" of the content of research papers, we also find that patenters may be shifting their research focus to questions of commercial interest. We conclude that the often-voiced concern that patenting in academe has a nefarious effect on public research output is, at least in its simplest form, misplaced.

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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11917.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2006
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    Publication status: published as Pierre Azoulay & Waverly Ding & Toby Stuart, 2009. "THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC PATENTING ON THE RATE, QUALITY AND DIRECTION OF (PUBLIC) RESEARCH OUTPUT -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 57(4), pages 637-676, December.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11917
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