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University Patenting: Estimating the Diminishing Breadth of Knowledge Diffusion and Consumption

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  • Carlos Rosell
  • Ajay Agrawal

Abstract

The rate of university patenting increased dramatically during the 1980s. To what extent did the knowledge flow patterns associated with public sector inventions change as university administrators and faculty seemingly became more commercially oriented? Using a Herfindahl-type measure of patent assignee concentration and employing a difference-in-differences estimation to compare university to firm patents across two time periods, we find that the university diffusion premium (the degree to which knowledge flows from patented university inventions are more widely distributed across assignees than those of firms) declined by over half during the 1980s. In addition, we find that the university diversity premium (the degree to which knowledge inflows used to develop patented university inventions are drawn from a less concentrated set of prior art holders than those used by firms) also declined by over half. Moreover, in both cases the estimated increase in knowledge flow concentration is largely driven by universities experienced in patenting, suggesting these phenomena are not likely to dissipate with experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Rosell & Ajay Agrawal, 2006. "University Patenting: Estimating the Diminishing Breadth of Knowledge Diffusion and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 12640, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12640
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rosell, Carlos & Agrawal, Ajay, 2009. "Have university knowledge flows narrowed?: Evidence from patent data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-13, February.
    2. Baldini, Nicola, 2009. "Implementing Bayh-Dole-like laws: Faculty problems and their impact on university patenting activity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1217-1224, October.
    3. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Glänzel, Wolfgang & Hussinger, Katrin, 2009. "Heterogeneity of patenting activity and its implications for scientific research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 26-34, February.
    4. Essaji, Azim & Fujiwara, Kinya, 2012. "Contracting institutions and product quality," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 269-278.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • 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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