University innovation and the professor's privilege

Hans K. Hvide*, Benjamin F. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

National policies take varied approaches to encouraging universitybased 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. Applications to literature on university technology transfer, innovation incentives, and taxes and entrepreneurship are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1860-1898
Number of pages39
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume108
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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