Scholarship and inventive activity in the university: complements or substitutes?

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Universities are engaging in more licensing and patenting activities than ever before, and the amount of research funded by industry is increasing. Academics' commercialization activities may inhibit traditional academic scholarship. If the output of such scholarship is an important input into technological innovation and economic growth, then such an inhibition would be cause for concern. We introduce new instruments and techniques and demonstrate them using a novel panel dataset of academic electrical engineers from Stanford University. We find no evidence that engaging in inventive activity reduces the quantity of scientific output and some evidence that it increases its quality.

Keywords: commercialization; innovation; science; university

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA 2: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA 3: University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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