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Abstract

Empirical evidence shows the existence of relevant spillovers from the stock of academic basic knowledge on industry. Interestingly, such spillovers are highly specific in that firms’ academic learning responds strongly to federally funded R&D in closely affiliated universities. Moreover, with the aim of enhancing such a technological transfer from academia to industry, the policy design of many OECD countries allows worthy academic ideas to be granted the same intellectual property rights (IPR) as industrial innovations. In distinguishing the stages of an R&D process within a dynamic general equilibrium model, this paper explicitly considers both industrial and government R&D efforts, with heterogeneous academic knowledge spillovers among industry lines. The results show that both the industrial R&D effort and the growth rate are spurred more by a “softer” IPR regime granted to academic ideas than by an increase in the industrial R&D subsidy.