IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Incentives and spillovers in R&D activities: an agency-theoretic analysis of industry-university relations

Listed author(s):
  • Nicola Lacetera

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- Sloan School)

In this paper, I study industry-university relations in a principal- agent framework. Following the existing literature, these relations are interpreted in two ways: (1) as occurring through spillovers of knowledge among different groups of researchers, working for different institutional settings; or (2) as more formal interactions, through the possibility, for a scientist, to directly respond to incentives defined by the different communities she may belong to. I formalize these two configurations in a unified framework. I account for: (1) the inherent difficulty in measuring the impact of scientific activities; and (2) the multiplicity of activities that scientists perform. I combine multi-task agency models with distorted performance measures and common agency models. My model identifies several types of incongruities between an agent's actions and the desired outcomes. These incongruities derive also from the strategic interaction among the principals. I also identify some potentially distortionary behavioral effects of the presence of spillovers.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mic/papers/0312/0312004.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0312004.

as
in new window

Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 16 Dec 2003
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0312004
Note: Type of Document - ; pages: 35
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. David, P. A., 1997. "From market magic to calypso science policy a review of Terence Kealey's The economic laws of scientific research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 229-255, May.
  2. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1989. "Agency costs and innovation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 305-327, December.
  3. Saul Lach & Mark Schankerman, 2008. "Incentives and invention in universities," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 403-433.
  4. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-132, March.
  5. Stephan, Paula E & Everhart, Stephen S, 1998. "The Changing Rewards to Science: The Case of Biotechnology," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 141-151, March.
  6. Salter, Ammon J. & Martin, Ben R., 2001. "The economic benefits of publicly funded basic research: a critical review," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 509-532, March.
  7. Murray, Fiona, 2002. "Innovation as co-evolution of scientific and technological networks: exploring tissue engineering," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1389-1403, December.
  8. 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.
  9. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. David, Paul A. & Hall, Bronwyn H., 2000. "Heart of darkness: modeling public-private funding interactions inside the R&D black box," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1165-1183, December.
  11. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Cowan, Robin & Jonard, Nicolas, 2004. "Network structure and the diffusion of knowledge," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 1557-1575, June.
  13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
  14. Audretsch, David B & Stephan, Paula E, 1998. "How and Why Does Knowledge Spill Over? The Case of Biotechnology," CEPR Discussion Papers 1991, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 752-769, August.
  16. Brent Goldfarb & Gerald Marschke & Amy Smith, 2009. "Scholarship and inventive activity in the university: complements or substitutes?," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(8), pages 743-756.
  17. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 975-1005, December.
  18. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. David, Paul A. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Toole, Andrew A., 2000. "Is public R&D a complement or substitute for private R&D? A review of the econometric evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 497-529, April.
  20. Stephan, Paula E., 2010. "The Economics of Science," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
  21. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
  22. Hicks, Diana, 1995. "Published Papers, Tacit Competencies and Corporate Management of the Public/Private Character of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 401-424.
  23. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  24. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Common Agency," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 923-942, July.
  25. Holmström, Bengt, 1989. "Agency Costs and Innovation," Working Paper Series 214, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  26. Argyres, Nicholas S. & Liebeskind, Julia Porter, 1998. "Privatizing the intellectual commons: Universities and the commercialization of biotechnology," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 427-454, May.
  27. Cockburn, Iain M & Henderson, Rebecca M, 1998. "Absorptive Capacity, Coauthoring Behavior, and the Organization of Research in Drug Discovery," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 157-182, June.
  28. Claudio Mezzetti, 1997. "Common Agency with Horizontally Differentiated Principals," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 323-345, Summer.
  29. Nelson, Richard R., 2004. "The market economy, and the scientific commons," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 455-471, April.
  30. David Martimort, 1996. "Exclusive Dealing, Common Agency, and Multiprincipals Incentive Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 1-19, Spring.
  31. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2002. "Links and Impacts: The Influence of Public Research on Industrial R&D," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, January.
  32. Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-364, May.
  33. Martin, Stephen & Scott, John T., 2000. "The nature of innovation market failure and the design of public support for private innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 437-447, April.
  34. Zucker, Lynne G. & Brewer, Marilynn B. & Darby, Michael R. & Peng, Yusheng, 1994. "Collaboration Structure and Information Dilemmas in Biotechnology: Organizational Boundaries as Trust Production," Institute for Social Science Research, Working Paper Series qt0gd8j9k8, Institute for Social Science Research, UCLA.
  35. Scott Stern, 1999. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," NBER Working Papers 7410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Blume, Stuart S., 1974. "Behavioural aspects of research management - a review," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 40-76, April.
  37. Jensen, Richard A. & Thursby, Jerry G. & Thursby, Marie C., 2003. "Disclosure and licensing of University inventions: 'The best we can do with the s**t we get to work with'," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1271-1300, November.
  38. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1987. "Aggregation and Linearity in the Provision of Intertemporal Incentives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 303-328, March.
  39. Baker, George & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J, 1999. "Informal Authority in Organizations," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 56-73, April.
  40. Rosenberg,Nathan, 1994. "Exploring the Black Box," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521459556, September.
  41. Atif Mian, 2008. "Incentives in Markets, Firms, and Governments," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 273-306, October.
  42. Whitley, Richard, 2003. "Competition and pluralism in the public sciences: the impact of institutional frameworks on the organisation of academic science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1015-1029, June.
  43. David, Paul A, 1998. "Common Agency Contracting and the Emergence of "Open Science" Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 15-21, May.
  44. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-991, September.
  45. Nelson, Richard R., 1990. "Capitalism as an engine of progress," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 193-214, June.
  46. Nathan ROSENBERG, 2009. "Why do firms do basic research (with their own money)?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Studies On Science And The Innovation Process Selected Works of Nathan Rosenberg, chapter 11, pages 225-234 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  47. Lee, Yong S., 1996. "'Technology transfer' and the research university: a search for the boundaries of university-industry collaboration," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 843-863, September.
  48. Iain Cockburn & Rebecca Henderson & Scott Stern, 1999. "Balancing Incentives: The Tension Between Basic and Applied Research," NBER Working Papers 6882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Ajay Agrawal & Rebecca Henderson, 2002. "Putting Patents in Context: Exploring Knowledge Transfer from MIT," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(1), pages 44-60, January.
  50. Robert S. Huckman & Gary P. Pisano, 2003. "The Effect of Organizational Context on Individual Performance," NBER Working Papers 10027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. Nightingale, Paul, 2000. "Economies of Scale in Experimentation: Knowledge and Technology in Pharmaceutical R&D," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 315-359, June.
  52. Agrawal, Ajay & Cockburn, Iain, 2003. "The anchor tenant hypothesis: exploring the role of large, local, R&D-intensive firms in regional innovation systems," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1227-1253, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0312004. 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: (EconWPA)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.