nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2007‒06‒23
seven papers chosen by
Emanuele Canegrati
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart

  1. Research Tool Patents and Free-Libre Biotechnology: A Unified Perspective. By Julien Pénin; Jean Pierre Wack
  2. Efficient communication, common knowledge, and consensus By Tsakas, Elias; Voorneveld, Mark
  3. From Science to License: An exploratory analysis of the value of academic patents By Eleftherios Sapsalis
  4. Urban Economies and Productivity By Baldwin, John R.; Beckstead, Desmond; Brown, W. Mark; Rigby, David
  5. Science vs Technology: a faculty dilemma? 35 years of patenting at the School of Engineering and Applied Science of Columbia University. By Eleftherios Sapsalis
  6. Aggregate information, common knowledge, and agreeing not to bet By Tsakas, Elias
  7. Nurses wanted. Is the job too harsh or is the wage too low? By Di Tommaso Maria Laura; Strom Steinar; Saether Erik Magnus

  1. By: Julien Pénin; Jean Pierre Wack
    Abstract: This paper proposes a unified conceptual framework to analyse the multiple role and consequences of patents in the case of biotechnology research tools. We argue that the knowledge/information and independent/complementary nature of research tools define heterogeneous frameworks in which the patent system plays different roles. In particular, using the analogy with the free-libre open source movement in software, we show that patents can promote open innovation by ensuring the freedom of some pieces of knowledge. A strong conclusion of the paper is therefore that, against common belief, an adequate use of the patent system may contribute to preserving freedom of access to upstream research tools within a framework that we call free-libre biotechnology.
    Keywords: Intellectual property rights, sequential innovation, open source, life science, collective invention.
    JEL: D2 O3
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Tsakas, Elias (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Voorneveld, Mark (Tilburg University, Department of Econometrics and Operations Research, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: We study a model of pairwise communication in a finite population of Bayesian agents. We show that, in contrast with claims to the contrary in the existing literature, communication under a fair protocol may not lead to common knowledge of signals. We prove that commonly known signals are achieved if the individuals convey, in addition to their own message, the information about every individual’s most recent signal they are aware of. If the signal is a posterior probability about some event, common knowledge implies consensus.
    Keywords: Private information; communication; common knowledge; consensus
    JEL: D82 D89
    Date: 2007–06–18
  3. By: Eleftherios Sapsalis (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Business School, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the industrial and entrepreneurial value of 334 patent families applied for by six major Belgian universities. It identifies the value determinants underlying the patent documents and highlights the positive and significant impact of collaboration and tacit scientific knowledge of the inventors’ team on the probability to get licensed. It also shows that there are technological differences between patents licensed to existing companies and the ones licensed to spin-offs. It suggests that existing companies are more likely to license technologies to be cited by academia when spin-offs exploit academic patents that are cited by the industry. These results advocate that existing companies and start-ups are two different valorisation patterns to commercialise different types of academic technologies. The paper stresses also the importance of collaboration between public and corporate research teams in order to get patent licensed. It pleads for a better management and valorisation sheme of patents co-applied for by many academic assignees and draws attention on the need to focus on academic researchers with a high scientific profile in terms of publications in order to crystallize their tacit knowledge into valuable patents.
    Keywords: Patent value, patent indicators, knowledge sources, license, spin-off.
    JEL: L24 M13 O33 O34
    Date: 2007–06
  4. By: Baldwin, John R.; Beckstead, Desmond; Brown, W. Mark; Rigby, David
    Abstract: Productivity levels and productivity growth rates vary significantly over space. These differences are perhaps most pronounced between countries, but they remain acutely evident within national spaces as economic growth favors some cities and regions and not others. In this paper, we map the spatial variation in productivity levels across Canadian cities and we model the underlying determinants of that variation. We have two main goals. First, to confirm the existence, the nature and the size of agglomeration economies, that is, the gains in efficiency related to the spatial clustering of economic activity. We focus attention on the impacts of buyer-supplier networks, labour market pooling and knowledge spillovers. Second, we identify the geographical extent of knowledge spillovers using information on the location of individual manufacturing plants. Plant-level data developed by the Micro-economic Analysis Division of Statistics Canada underpin the analysis. After controlling for a series of plant and firm characteristics, analysis reveals that the productivity performance of plants is positively influenced by all three of Marshall's mechanisms of agglomeration (Marshall, 1920). The analysis also shows that the effect of knowledge spillovers on productivity is spatially circumscribed, extending, at most, only 10 km beyond individual plants. The reliance of individual businesses on place-based economies varies across the sectors to which the businesses are aggregated. These sectors are defined by the factors that influence the process of competition'access to natural resources, labour costs, scale economies, product differentiation, and the application of scientific knowledge. Neither labour market pooling, buyer-supplier networks nor knowledge spillovers are universally important across all sectors. This paper provides confirmation of the importance of agglomeration, while also providing evidence that external economies are spatially bounded and not universally im
    Keywords: Business performance and ownership, Manufacturing, Regional and urban profiles
    Date: 2007–06–18
  5. By: Eleftherios Sapsalis (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Business School, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels and Columbia University, US.)
    Abstract: In the large and complex debate related to the creation, diffusion and protection of academic research results, this paper intends to understand the characteristics of academics involved in the knowledge creation as measured by publications and patents. Moreover, it aims to produce some piece of evidence that it is possible to manage patenting activity without jeopardizing publishing. Analysing the publishing and patenting activity of the 326 faculty members of the School of Engineering at Columbia University between 1970 and 2005, we find out that more than the Bayh-Dole Act, it is the implementation of the IP policy at Columbia University that has created an incentive to patent at the engineering school. We also find out that the probability and propensity to patent is influenced by the scientific production of a researcher, his contacts with industry but also his mindset towards patenting. Analysing the scientific productivity of the researchers, we confirm that heterogeneity in the career might deter the productivity of a researcher. We find that scientific collaboration with industry and technological collaboration on application-oriented projects with public or industrial partners had a positive impact on the probability to be among the best scientists. Finally our results suggest that patenting activity undertaken by Columbia University does not divert academics from publishing and relay the recent findings of the literature.
    Keywords: Academia, Patent, Publication
    JEL: O10 O33 O34 O38 L38
    Date: 2007–06
  6. By: Tsakas, Elias (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: I consider a gamble where the sum of the distributed payoffs is proportionate to the number of participants. I show that no subset of the population can agree to participate in the bet, if the size of the group is commonly known. Repeated announcements of the number of the participants leads the population to agree not to bet.
    Keywords: Gamble; private information; communication; common knowledge
    JEL: D81 D82 D84 D89
    Date: 2007–06–18
  7. By: Di Tommaso Maria Laura (University of Turin); Strom Steinar (University of Turin); Saether Erik Magnus
    Abstract: When entering the job market, nurses choose among different kínd of jobs. Each of these jobs is characterized by wage, sector (primary care or hospital) and shift (daytime work or shift). This paper estimates a multisector-job-type random utílity model of labor supply on data for Norwegian registered nurses in 2000. The empirical model implies that labor supply is rather inelastic; 10 percent increase in the wage rates for all nurses is estímaled to vield 3.3 percent íncrease in overall labor supply. This modest response shadows for much stronger inter job-type responses. Our approach differs from previous studíes in two ways: First, to our knowledge,it ís thefirst tíme that a model of labour supply for nurses ís estímated takíng explícíty ínto account the choices that RN's have regarding work place and type of job. Second, it differs from previous studies with respect to the measurement of the compensations for different types of work. So far, it has been focused on wage differentíals. But there are more attributes of a job than the wage. Based on the estimated random utílíty model we therefore calculate the expected value of compensatíon that makes a utílíty maxìmìzìng agent indifferent between types of jobs, here behween shift work and daytìme work. It turns out that Nondegian nurses working shifis may be willing to work shift relative to daytime work for lower wage than the current one.
    Date: 2007–04

This nep-knm issue is ©2007 by Emanuele Canegrati. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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