Faculty respond to incentives; who would have guessed?

National policies take varied approaches to encouraging university-based innovation. This paper studies a natural experiment: the end of the “professor’s privilege” in Norway, where university researchers previously enjoyed full rights to their innovations. Upon the reform, Norway moved toward the typical US model, where the university holds majority rights. Using comprehensive data on Norwegian workers, firms, and patents, we find a 50 percent decline in both entrepreneurship and patenting rates by university researchers after the reform. Quality measures for university start-ups and patents also decline.

https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/aer.20160284

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Stephen

Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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