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Star Scientists, Institutions, and the Entry of Japanese Biotechnology Enterprises

  • Michael R. Darby
  • Lynne G. Zucker

Advance of science and its commercial applications are in a close, symbiotic relationship in the U.S. biotechnology industry. Comparing Japan and the U.S., the structure of the science appears broadly similar, but the organization of the biotechnology industry is quite dissimilar. In the U.S., some 77 percent of new biotechnology enterprises (NBEs) were dedicated new biotechnology firms (NBFs) started for this purpose while 88 percent of Japanese biotech firms in our data base were subunits of existing firms (NBSs). We report pooled poisson regression estimates of the relation of NBE births in Japan to top-producing is at work in Japan and America, stars in Japan induce entry of significantly fewer NBEs than in the U.S. and preexisting economic activity plays a greater role. We find no such significant difference for entry of keiretsu-member and nonmember firms within Japan. We relate the significant Japan-U.S. differences to Japan's relatively compact geography and institutional differences between the higher-education and research funding systems, the venture-capital and IPO markets, cultural characteristics and incentive systems which impact scientists' entrepreneurialism, and tort-liability exposures. The relative importance of these factors and whether differences in organization of biotechnology result in substantial differences in productivity and international competitiveness are issues for future research.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5795.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5795.

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Date of creation: Oct 1996
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Publication status: published as Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R, 2001. " Capturing Technological Opportunity via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 37-58, January.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5795
Note: PR
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  1. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1991. "On the application of robust, regression- based diagnostics to models of conditional means and conditional variances," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 5-46, January.
  2. Zucker, Lynne G. & Darby, Michael R., 1994. "The Organization of Biotechnology Science and Its Commercialization in Japan," Institute for Social Science Research, Working Paper Series qt9qf459t4, Institute for Social Science Research, UCLA.
  3. Steven Klepper & Elizabeth Graddy, 1990. "The Evolution of New Industries and the Determinants of Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 27-44, Spring.
  4. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Marilynn B. Brewer, 1994. "Intellectual Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," NBER Working Papers 4653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
  6. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Jeff Armstrong, 1994. "Intellectual Capital and the Firm: The Technology of Geographically Localized Knowledge Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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