NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

University-Industry Spillovers, Government Funding, and Industrial Consulting

Richard Jensen, Jerry Thursby, Marie C. Thursby

NBER Working Paper No. 15732
Issued in February 2010
NBER Program(s):   PR

This paper presents a theoretical model of faculty consulting in the context of government and industry funding for research within the university, which then frames an empirical analysis of the funding and consulting of 458 individual faculty inventors from 8 major US universities. In the theory, firms realize that they free ride on government sponsored research of the faculty they hire as consultants and faculty realize their university research projects indirectly benefit from their firm experience. The model accounts for faculty quality, project characteristics, faculty share of license revenue from university research, and the university's research support. Empirically we find that government research funding is positively related to consulting, independent of faculty quality. We find that government and industry funding for university research are strategic complements as well as evidence of the ability of universities to leverage their research infrastructure to attract research funding.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15732

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