IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/7064.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Privatizing R&D: Patent Policy and the Commercialization of National Laboratory Technologies

Author

Listed:
  • Adam B. Jaffe
  • Josh Lerner

Abstract

Despite their magnitude and potential economic impact, federal R&D expenditures outside of research universities have been little scrutinized by economists. This paper examines whether the series of initiatives since 1980 that have sought to encourage the patenting and technology transfer at the national laboratories have had a significant impact, and how the features of these facilities affected their success in commercialization. Employing both case studies of and databases about the U.S. Department of Energy's laboratories, we challenge much of the conventional wisdom. The policy changes of the 1980s had a substantial impact on the patenting activity by the national laboratories, which have gradually reached parity in patents per R&D dollar with research universities. Using citation data, we show that, unlike universities, the quality of the laboratory patents has remained constant or even increased as their numbers have grown. The cross-sectional patterns are generally consistent with theoretical suggestions regarding the impact and determinants of the decision to privatize government functions.

Suggested Citation

  • Adam B. Jaffe & Josh Lerner, 1999. "Privatizing R&D: Patent Policy and the Commercialization of National Laboratory Technologies," NBER Working Papers 7064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7064 Note: PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7064.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jaffe, Adam B & Fogarty, Michael S & Banks, Bruce A, 1998. "Evidence from Patents and Patent Citations on the Impact of NASA and Other Federal Labs on Commercial Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 183-205, June.
    2. Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1997. "Privatization in the United States," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 447-471, Autumn.
    3. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    4. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    5. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
    6. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent-Seeking and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2537-2564, December.
    7. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1997. "Privatizing Russia," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522284, January.
    8. Barberis, Nicholas & Maxim Boycko & Andrei Shleifer & Natalia Tsukanova, 1996. "How Does Privatization Work? Evidence from the Russian Shops," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 764-790, August.
    9. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-318, March.
    10. Lang, Larry H P & Stulz, Rene M, 1994. "Tobin's q, Corporate Diversification, and Firm Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1248-1280, December.
    11. Lerner, Josh, 1999. "The Government as Venture Capitalist: The Long-Run Impact of the SBIR Program," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(3), pages 285-318, July.
    12. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025.
    13. repec:hrv:faseco:30727606 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Marc-Hubert Depret & Abdelillah Hamdouch, 2004. "La gouvernance des jeunes entreprises innovantes:un éclairage analytique à partir du cas des sociétés de biotechnologies," Revue Finance Contrôle Stratégie, revues.org, vol. 7(2), pages 67-94, June.
    2. Louise Keely, 2001. "Using Patents In Growth Models," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(6), pages 449-492.
    3. Heidrun C. Hoppe & Emre Ozdenoren, 2002. "Intermediation in Innovation," CIG Working Papers FS IV 02-11, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
    4. Jaffe, Adam B., 2000. "The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
    5. Karlsson, Charlie & Warda, Peter & Gråsjö, Urban, 2012. "Spatial Knowledge Spillovers in Europe: A Meta-Analysis," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 280, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    6. Wang, Heli & Chen, Wei-Ru, 2010. "Is firm-specific innovation associated with greater value appropriation? The roles of environmental dynamism and technological diversity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 141-154, February.
    7. Paul A. David, 2005. "Can ‘Open Science’ be Protected from the Evolving Regime of IPR Protections?," Industrial Organization 0502010, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7064. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.