NBER Working Papers by Toby Stuart

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Working Papers

December 2012Matthew: Effect or Fable?
with Pierre Azoulay, Yanbo Wang: w18625
In a market context, a status effect occurs when actors are accorded differential recognition for their efforts depending on their location in a status ordering, holding constant the quality of these efforts. In practice, because it is very difficult to measure quality, this ceteris paribus proviso often precludes convincing empirical assessments of the magnitude of status effects. We address this problem by examining the impact of a major status-conferring prize that shifts actors' positions in a prestige ordering. Specifically, using a precisely constructed matched sample, we estimate the effect of a scientist becoming a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator (HHMI) on citations to articles the scientist published before the prize was awarded. We do find evidence of a post-appointment citati...

Published: Matthew: Effect or Fable? Pierre Azoulay, Toby Stuart, Yanbo Wang 60(1), pp. 92–109 Published Online: August 2, 2013 Volume 60, Issue 1, January 2014

July 2008Board Interlocks and the Propensity to be Targeted in Private Equity Transactions
with Soojin Yim: w14189
In this paper, we examine the propensity for U.S. public companies to become targets for private equity-backed, take-private transactions. We consider the characteristics of 483 private equity-backed deals in the 2000-2007 period relative to public companies, and find that, in addition to the financial drivers studied in previous works, board characteristics and director networks are also associated with deal generation. We find that a company that has a director who has had LBO experience through prior board service is ~40% more likely to receive a private equity offer, and that the strength of this effect varies with the influence of the director and the quality of the prior LBO experience. This effect is robust to the most likely alternative explanations and supports the idea that direc...

Published: Journal of Financial Economics Volume 97, Issue 1, July 2010, Pages 174–189

January 2006The Impact of Academic Patenting on the Rate, Quality, and Direction of (Public) Research Output
with Pierre Azoulay, Waverly Ding: w11917
We examine the influence of faculty patenting activity on the rate, quality, and content of public research outputs in a panel dataset spanning the careers of 3,862 academic life scientists. Using inverse probability of treatment weights (IPTW) to account for the dynamics of self-selection into patenting, we find that patenting has a positive effect on the rate of publication of journal articles, but no effect on the quality of these publications. Using several measures of the "patentability" of the content of research papers, we also find that patenters may be shifting their research focus to questions of commercial interest. We conclude that the often-voiced concern that patenting in academe has a nefarious effect on public research output is, at least in its simplest form, misplaced.

Published: Pierre Azoulay & Waverly Ding & Toby Stuart, 2009. "THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC PATENTING ON THE RATE, QUALITY AND DIRECTION OF (PUBLIC) RESEARCH OUTPUT -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 57(4), pages 637-676, December.

May 2005The Determinants of Faculty Patenting Behavior: Demographics or Opportunities?
with Pierre Azoulay, Waverly Ding: w11348
We examine the individual, contextual, and institutional determinants of faculty patenting behavior in a panel dataset spanning the careers of 3,884 academic life scientists. Using a combination of discrete time hazard rate models and fixed effects logistic models, we find that patenting events are preceded by a flurry of publications, even holding constant time-invariant scientific talent and the latent patentability of a scientist's research. Moreover, the magnitude of the effect of this flurry is influenced by context --- such as the presence of coauthors who patent and the patent stock of the scientist's university. Whereas previous research emphasized that academic patenters are more accomplished on average than their non-patenting counterparts, our findings suggest that patenting beh...


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