NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Waverly Ding

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Working Papers

August 2009The Impact of Information Technology on Scientists' Productivity, Quality and Collaboration Patterns
with Sharon G. Levin, Paula E. Stephan, Anne E. Winkler: w15285
This study advances the prior literature concerning the impact of information technology on productivity in academe in two important ways. First, it utilizes a dataset that combines information on the diffusion of two noteworthy and early innovations in IT -- BITNET and the Domain Name System (DNS) -- with career history data on research-active life scientists. This research design allows for proper identification of the availability of access to IT as well as a means to directly identify causal effects. Second, the fine-grained nature of the data set allows for an investigation of three publishing outcomes: counts, quality, and co-authorship. Our analysis of a random sample of 3,771 research-active life scientists from 430 U.S. institutions over a 25-year period supports the hypothesis ...

Published: Ding, Waverly W., Sharon G. Levin, Paula E. Stepha n, and Anne E. Winkler. 2010. “ The Impact of Information Technology on Scientists’ Productivity, Quality and Collaboration Patterns . ” Management Science 56(9): 1439 -­‐ 1461 .

January 2006The Impact of Academic Patenting on the Rate, Quality, and Direction of (Public) Research Output
with Pierre Azoulay, Toby Stuart: 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, Toby Stuart: 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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