Is Academic Science Driving a Surge in Industrial Innovation? Evidence from Patent Citations

56 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2005 Last revised: 5 Aug 2010

See all articles by Lee Branstetter

Lee Branstetter

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Yoshiaki Ogura

Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics

Date Written: August 2005

Abstract

What is driving the remarkable increase over the last decade in the propensity of patents to cite academic science? Does this trend indicate that stronger knowledge spillovers from academia have helped power the surge in innovative activity in the U.S. in the 1990s? This paper seeks to shed light on these questions by using a common empirical framework to assess the relative importance of various alternative hypotheses in explaining the growth in patent citations to science. Our analysis supports the notion that the nature of U.S. inventive activity has changed over the sample period, with an increased emphasis on the use of the knowledge generated by university-based scientists in later years. However, the concentration of patent-to-paper citation activity within what we call the "bio nexus" suggests that much of the contribution of knowledge spillovers from academia may be largely confined to bioscience-related inventions.

Suggested Citation

Branstetter, Lee and Ogura, Yoshiaki, Is Academic Science Driving a Surge in Industrial Innovation? Evidence from Patent Citations (August 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11561, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=788426

Lee Branstetter (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Yoshiaki Ogura

Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics ( email )

1-6-1 Nishi-waseda, Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo
Japan

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