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Academic inventors and firm inventiveness: A quasi-experimental analysis of firms’ patents

Conference paper
Authors Daniel Ljungberg
Published in DIME final conference, Maastricht, April 2011
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Language en
Keywords Academic patents; firm inventiveness; university-industry collaboration; tech- nological importance; covariate matching
Subject categories Other industrial engineering and economics


This paper analyzes the average effect of involving academics as inventors on the tech- nological importance of firms’ patents. Drawing on a database of Swedish academic patents, a quasi-experimental design is employed by matching firms’ academic and non-academic patents on a set of patent characteristics. The findings point to a negative effect of academic in- ventors on the technological impact of firms’ patents. Results moreover show a positive effect of academic involvement on the generality of firms’ patents, indicating a more widespread impact. The persistence of firms’ academic patents, measuring the extent to which patents’ knowledge is spread and retained in subsequent inventions, also show a positive effect of academic involvement. These findings suggest that firms on average involve academics in early stages of technology development.

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