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Academic freedom, private-sector focus, and the process of innovation

Aghion, P.; Dewatripont, M.; Stein, J.C.; (2008) Academic freedom, private-sector focus, and the process of innovation. The RAND Journal of Economics , 39 (3) pp. 617-635. 10.1111/j.1756-2171.2008.00031.x.

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We develop a model that clarifies the respective advantages and disadvantages of academic and private-sector research. Rather than relying on lack of appropriability or spillovers to generate a rationale for academic research, we emphasize control-rights considerations, and argue that the fundamental tradeoff between academia and the private sector is one of creative control versus focus. By serving as a precommitment mechanism that allows scientists to freely pursue their own interests, academia can be indispensable for early-stage research. At the same time, the private sector's ability to direct scientists toward higher-payoff activities makes it more attractive for later-stage research.

Type: Article
Title: Academic freedom, private-sector focus, and the process of innovation
DOI: 10.1111/j.1756-2171.2008.00031.x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1756-2171.2008.00031.x
Language: English
Additional information: Please see http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/17776/ for a working paper version
Keywords: Innovation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Economics
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/17736
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