NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Andrea Patacconi

Andrea Patacconi, Norwich Business School
University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2015Killing the Golden Goose? The Decline of Science in Corporate R&D
with Ashish Arora, Sharon Belenzon: w20902
Scientific knowledge is believed to be the wellspring of innovation. Historically, firms have also invested in research to fuel innovation and growth. In this paper, we document a shift away from scientific research by large corporations between 1980 and 2007. We find that publications by company scientists have declined over time in a range of industries. We also find that the value attributable to scientific research has dropped, whereas the value attributable to technical knowledge (as measured by patents) has remained stable. These effects appear to be associated with globalization and narrower firm scope, rather than changes in publication practices or a decline in the usefulness of science as an input into innovation. Large firms appear to value the golden eggs of science (as reflect...
 
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