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THE KNOWLEDGE PRODUCTION FUNCTION FOR UNIVERSITY PATENTING

Authors

  • SHIFERAW GURMU,

    1. Gurmu: Associate Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, PO Box 3992, Atlanta, GA 30302-3992. Tel 404-413-0161, Fax 404-413-0145, E-mail sgurmu@gsu.edu
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  • GRANT C. BLACK,

    1. Black: Assistant Professor of Economics, School of Business and Economics, Indiana University South Bend, 1700 Mishawaka Avenue, South Bend, IN 46634. Tel 574-520-5541, Fax 574-520-4866, E-mail gcblack@iusb.edu
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  • PAULA E. STEPHAN

    1. Stephan: Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University and NBER, PO Box 3992, Atlanta, GA 30302-3992. Tel 404-413-0160, Fax 404-413-0145, E-mail pstephan@gsu.edu
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    • *

      The authors wish to thank Bhaven Sampat for generously sharing his university patent data with us and Jerry Thursby for sharing AUTM data with us. Financial support for this project was received from the Science and Engineering Workforce Project, National Bureau of Economic Research. We have benefited from the comments of an anonymous referee, seminar participants at the Université Paris Sud, and participants at the Atlanta Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. All errors are those of the authors. The use of NSF data does not imply NSF endorsement of the research methods or conclusions contained in the article.


Abstract

We estimate a knowledge production function for university patenting using an individual effects negative binomial model. We control for Research and Development expenditures, research field, and the presence of a Technology Transfer Office. We distinguish between three kinds of researchers: faculty, postdoctoral scholars (postdocs), and PhD students. For the latter two, we also distinguish by visa status. We find patent counts to relate positively and significantly to the number of PhD students and number of postdocs. Our results also suggest that not all graduate students and postdocs contribute equally to patenting but that contribution is mediated by citizenship and visa status. (JEL C25, O31, O32, O34, O38)

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