Public Knowledge, Private Knowledge: The Intellectual Capital of Entrepreneurs

Albert Link, Christopher Ruhm

NBER Working Paper No. 14797
Issued in March 2009
NBER Program(s):Health Care, Health Economics, Industrial Organization, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

This paper focuses on the innovative actions of entrepreneurs, namely their tendency to reveal the intellectual capital that results from their research efforts either in the form of public knowledge (publications) or private knowledge (patents). Using data collected by the National Research Council within the U.S. National Academies from their survey of firm's that received National Institutes of Health Phase II Small Business Innovation Research awards between 1992 and 2001, we find that entrepreneurs with academic backgrounds are more likely to publish their intellectual capital compared to entrepreneurs with business backgrounds, who are more likely to patent their intellectual capital. We also find that when universities are research partners, their presence complements the tendencies of academic entrepreneurs but does not offset those of business entrepreneurs.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14797

Published: Albert Link & Christopher Ruhm, 2011. "Public knowledge, private knowledge: the intellectual capital of entrepreneurs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 1-14, January. citation courtesy of

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