Working Paper BETA #2013-12

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Title : Academic patenting and the scientific enterprise: Lessons from a Japanese university.

Author(s) : René Carraz

Abstract : In this paper, we study the influence that academic patenting has on faculty members belonging to a research intensive Japanese uni- versity. We intend to contribute to the literature on both the use of patenting in academia and the influence it has on a researcher’s agenda setting. First, we document how recent policy changes have favored an increasing use of patents by faculty members in Japan. Then, us- ing two complementary set of data, cross-section and panel data, we focus our attention on three main dimensions: the effect of patenting on academic productivity measured in terms of publications and their quality; the role of financial factors; and the influence of peer effects. Our main findings are the following. First, we find that patenting and publishing were complementary activities in our two empirical settings. Moreover, we find that the output of colleagues working in the same department influences a researcher propensity to patent. The results show as well that the amount of contractual research funds received by a researcher is positively correlated with his/her number of patents, while the number of research grants - not the amount - is correlated to his/her patenting output. Finally, another interesting result concerns the influence of a researcher’s age on his/her propensity to patent.

Key-words : Academic patenting, peer effects, intellectual property rights, technology transfer, university-industry relationships, Japanese innovation system.

JEL Classification : O3