University Innovation and the Professor’s Privilege

Abstract:

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 U.S.
model, where the university holds majority rights. Using
comprehensive data on Norwegian workers, firms, and patents, we find
a 50% decline in both entrepreneurship and patenting rates by
university researchers after the reform. Quality measures for
university start-ups and patents also decline.

by Hans K. Hvide, Benjamin F. Jones – #22057 (PR)

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