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Is there a trade-off between academic research and faculty entrepreneurship? Evidence from U.S. NIH supported biomedical researchers

Author

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  • Czarnitzki, Dirk
  • Toole, Andrew A.

Abstract

Is there a trade-off of scholarly research productivity when faculty members found or join for-profit firms? This paper offers an empirical examination of this question for a subpopulation of biomedical academic scientists who received research funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this study, we are able to distinguish between permanent versus temporary employment transitions by entrepreneurial faculty members and examine how their journal article publication rates change using individual-level panel data. We find that the biomedical scientists who eventually choose to found or join a for-profit firm were more productive during their careers in academe than a randomly selected control group of their NIH peers. When they pursue entrepreneurship in the private sector, however, their scholarly productivity falls. Those entrepreneurial faculty members who return to academe are not as productive as they were before their entrepreneurial experience in terms of journal publications.

Suggested Citation

  • Czarnitzki, Dirk & Toole, Andrew A., 2009. "Is there a trade-off between academic research and faculty entrepreneurship? Evidence from U.S. NIH supported biomedical researchers," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-022, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:09022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Buenstorf, Guido, 2009. "Is commercialization good or bad for science? Individual-level evidence from the Max Planck Society," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 281-292, March.
    2. 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.
    3. Andrew Toole & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2007. "Biomedical Academic Entrepreneurship through the SBIR Program," NBER Chapters,in: Academic Science and Entrepreneurship: Dual Engines of Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bronwyn Hall & Jacques Mairesse & Laure Turner, 2007. "Identifying Age, Cohort, And Period Effects In Scientific Research Productivity: Discussion And Illustration Using Simulated And Actual Data On French Physicists," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 159-177.
    5. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Glänzel, Wolfgang & Hussinger, Katrin, 2009. "Heterogeneity of patenting activity and its implications for scientific research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 26-34, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Andrew A. Toole & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2009. "Exploring the Relationship Between Scientist Human Capital and Firm Performance: The Case of Biomedical Academic Entrepreneurs in the SBIR Program," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(1), pages 101-114, January.
    8. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 2007. "Virtuous circles in science and commerce," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(3), pages 445-470, August.
    9. Scott Stern, 2004. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 835-853, June.
    10. Toole, Andrew A. & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2007. "Life Scientist Mobility from Academe to Industry: Does Academic Entrepreneurship Induce a Costly ?Brain Drain? on the Not-for-Profit Research Sector?," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-072, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Robert Lowe & Claudia Gonzalez-Brambila, 2007. "Faculty Entrepreneurs and Research Productivity," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 173-194, June.
    12. Michelle Gittelman & Bruce Kogut, 2003. "Does Good Science Lead to Valuable Knowledge? Biotechnology Firms and the Evolutionary Logic of Citation Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 366-382, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rivera, Rene & Sampedro, Jose Luis & Dutrenit, Gabriela & Ekboir, Javier Mario & Vera-Cruz, Alexandre O., 2009. "How productive are academic researchers in agriculture-related sciences? The Mexican case," MERIT Working Papers 038, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Rivera-Huerta, René & Dutrénit, Gabriela & Ekboir, Javier Mario & Sampedro, José Luis & Vera-Cruz, Alexandre O., 2011. "Do linkages between farmers and academic researchers influence researcher productivity? The Mexican case," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 932-942, September.
    3. Dirk Czarnitzki & Christian Rammer & Andrew Toole, 2014. "University spin-offs and the “performance premium”," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 309-326, August.
    4. Deschryvere, Matthias, 2009. "A Comparative Survey of Structural Characteristics of Finnish University Departments," Discussion Papers 1195, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    5. French, Martin & Miller, Fiona Alice, 2012. "Leveraging the “living laboratory”: On the emergence of the entrepreneurial hospital," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(4), pages 717-724.
    6. Kolympiris, Christos & Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas & Miller, Douglas, 2015. "Location choice of academic entrepreneurs: Evidence from the US biotechnology industry," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 227-254.
    7. Stefano Bianchini & Francesco Lissoni & Michele Pezzoni & Lorenzo Zirulia, 2016. "The economics of research, consulting, and teaching quality: theory and evidence from a technical university," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(7), pages 668-691, October.
    8. repec:eee:tefoso:v:123:y:2017:i:c:p:216-228 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Miller, Fiona A. & French, Martin, 2016. "Organizing the entrepreneurial hospital: Hybridizing the logics of healthcare and innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1534-1544.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    academic entrepreneurship; SBIR; NIH; biomedical research; life scientist productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L53 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Enterprise Policy

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