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The Governance and Performance of Research Universities: Evidence from Europe and the U.S

  • Philippe Aghion
  • Mathias Dewatripont
  • Caroline M. Hoxby
  • Andreu Mas-Colell
  • André Sapir

We investigate how university governance affects research output, measured by patenting and international university research rankings. For both European and U.S. universities, we generate several measures of autonomy, governance, and competition for research funding. We show that university autonomy and competition are positively correlated with university output, both among European countries and among U.S. public universities. We then identity a (political) source of exogenous shocks to funding of U.S. universities. We demonstrate that, when a state's universities receive a positive funding shock, they produce more patents if they are more autonomous and face more competition from private research universities. Finally, we show that during periods when merit-based competitions for federal research funding have been most prominent, universities produce more patents when they receive an exogenous funding shock, suggesting that routine participation in such competitions hones research skill.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14851.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14851.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Publication status: published as Aghion, P., Dewatripont, M., Hoxby, C., Mas-Colell, A. and Sapir, A. (2010), The governance and performance of universities: evidence from Europe and the US. Economic Policy, 25: 7–59. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0327.2009.00238.x
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14851
Note: ED LS PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. André Sapir & Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell, 2007. "Why reform Europe's universities," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8100, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. James D. Adams, 2001. "Comparative Localization of Academic and Industrial Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 8292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jerry Thursby & Anne Fuller & Marie Thursby, 2007. "US Faculty Patenting: Inside and Outside the University," NBER Working Papers 13256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. André Sapir & Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Andreu Mas-Colell, 2008. "Higher aspirations: An agenda for reforming European universities," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/174284, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. A Abigail Payne, 2001. "The Effects of Congressional Appropriation Committee Membership on the Distribution of Federal Research Funding to Universities," Public Economics 0111003, EconWPA.
  6. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-70, December.
  7. Anselin, Luc & Varga, Attila & Acs, Zoltan, 1997. "Local Geographic Spillovers between University Research and High Technology Innovations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 422-448, November.
  8. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Manfred M. Fischer & Attila Varga, 2003. "Spatial knowledge spillovers and university research: Evidence from Austria," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 303-322, 05.
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