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University-industry relations and the evolution of knowledge governance. the italian evidence in the first part of the xx century




This paper contributes the large literature on the university industry relations providing unique historic evidence on the positive effects of academic spillovers as proxied by chairs, distinguished by disciplinary field, on total factor productivity growth. The analysis impinges upon an original data-base on the evolution of the size and the disciplinary composition of the stock of academic chairs in Italy in the years 1900-1959. The results confirm the contribution of academic knowledge to economic growth and the positive effects of the public support to the academic system. At the same time they shed new light on the differentiated impact of the different disciplines on economic growth. The increase in the number of chairs in engineering and chemistry contributed to total factor productivity growth more than any other discipline. This is consistent with the historic context characterized by the radical transformation of a backward agricultural economy into a highly industrialized and rich one. The results of this cliometric analysis of a case where the corporate mode of knowledge governance had not yet been introduced confirm the viability of the academic mode of knowledge governance.

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  • Antonelli, Cristiano & Fassio, Claudio, 2012. "University-industry relations and the evolution of knowledge governance. the italian evidence in the first part of the xx century," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201212, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:labeco:201212

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