nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2006‒04‒29
nine papers chosen by
Jonas Holmstrom
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Academic careers : the effect of participation to post-doctoral program By Saïd Hanchane; Isabelle Recotillet
  2. The Productivity of UK Universities By Gustavo Crespi; Aldo Geuna
  3. Peer Review and the Relevance of Science By Alister Scott
  4. The as-is journal review process: Let authors own their ideas By Eric W. K. Tsang; Bruno S. Frey
  5. Exploring the "Value" of Academic Patents: IP Management Practices in UK Universities and their Implications for Third-Stream Indicators By Martin Meyer; Puay Tang
  6. Determinants of Success in High School Economics: Lessons from the Field By Michael C. Kimmitt; Kimberly M. Burnett
  7. Are Co-Active Researchers on Top of their Class? An Exploratory Comparison of Inventor-Authors with their Non-Inventing Peers in Nano-Science and Technology By Martin Meyer
  8. Movement of Star Scientists and Engineers and High-Tech Firm Entry By Lynne G. Zucker; Michael R. Darby
  9. Can Post-Grant Reviews Improve Patent System Design? A Twin Study of US and European Patents By Stuart J.H. Graham; Dietmar Harhoff

  1. By: Saïd Hanchane (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II] - []); Isabelle Recotillet (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II] - [])
    Abstract: This paper is devoted to assessment of post-doctoral programs for young PhD awarded in French Universities. Using longitudinal from the French Ministry of Education, our question lead to the econometric evaluation of post-doctoral participation on the probability to obtain a job as researcher in the public sector of research. Based on the estimation of a conditional bivariate Probit model and computation of marginal effects, we demonstrate that going through a post-doctoral program increases of around 10% then chances to get an academic job. This result is reinforced by the effect of financial support, especially standard academic grant, which rises of more than 20% the probability to be recruited as researcher in the French public sector.
    Keywords: Post-doctoral program; PhD graduated; Bivariate Probit; Marginal effects
    Date: 2006–04–18
  2. By: Gustavo Crespi (SPRU, University of Sussex); Aldo Geuna (SPRU, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: There is increasing recognition in the UK and other OECD countries of the importance of scientific research in providing the foundations for both innovation and competitiveness. This has resulted in increased public funding for research in the UK and elsewhere. At the same time, there is a lack of systematic evidence on how such investments can lead to increasing levels of scientific output and, ultimately, to better economic performance. Much of the available literature concentrates on the effects of public funding of basic research on either firms' innovative activities (see among others COHEN, NELSON AND WALSH [2002]; KLEVORICK, LEVIN, NELSON AND WINTER [1995]; JAFFE [1989]; NARIN, HAMILTON AND OLIVASTRO [1997]) or firm performance (Adams [1990]), bypassing the question of how to measure scientific output. The reasons for this are the difficulty of identifying a stable causal relationship between the resources spent on the science budget and 'intermediate' scientific outputs. This difficulty originates from the dynamic nature of this relationship. There is a persistent and therefore recursive feedback between inputs and outputs, which is exacerbated by lack of appropriate information for analysis. Among the few studies that have attempted to address the problem, are ADAMS AND GRILICHES [1996] and JOHNES AND JOHNES [1995]. This study is based on and further develops Adams and Griliches's methodology.
    Keywords: bibliometrics, university graduate students, national science budget, research funding, economic performance, scientific output
    JEL: O3 I2
    Date: 2006–04–11
  3. By: Alister Scott (SPRU, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Recent science-policy debates have emphasised a growing role for science in helping to address some of society's most pressing challenges such as global environmental change, caring for the needs of ageing populations, and competitiveness in a global age. Other 'relevance' pressures include drives for public accountability, pressure for the 'democratisation' of science and demands from industry for usable knowledge. Underlying the question of the social relevance of science is the matter of decision-making and quality control in science, usually via the peer-review process. Peer review plays a central role in many of the key moments in science. It is the main form of decision-making around grant selection, academic publishing and the promotion of individual scientists within universities and research institutions. It also underpins methods used to evaluate scientific institutions. Yet peer review as currently practised can be narrowly scientific, to the exclusion of other pressing quality criteria relating to social relevance. It is often also controlled and practised by scientists to the exclusion of wider groups that might bring valuable perspectives. This article sets out to examine peer review through the lens of social relevance. It challenges peer review as currently practised and makes some suggestions for ways forward.
    Keywords: science policy, relevance of science, social relevance, peer review, quality control
    JEL: O3 I0
    Date: 2006–04–11
  4. By: Eric W. K. Tsang; Bruno S. Frey
    Abstract: Recently, the problems associated with the existing journal review process aroused discussions from seasoned management researchers, who have also made useful suggestions for improving the process. To complement these suggestions, we propose a more radical change: a manuscript should be reviewed on an “as is” basis and its fate be determined in one round of review. The as-is review process shortens the time period from submission to final acceptance, reduces the workload of editors, referees and authors, provides frank author feedback to referees, and, most important, lets authors own all of the ideas in their publications.
    Keywords: Journals, reviews, authors, submissions
    JEL: Z0
    Date: 2006–04
  5. By: Martin Meyer (SPRU, University of Sussex); Puay Tang (SPRU, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: Third-Stream activities have become increasingly important in the UK. However, valuing them in a meaningful way still poses a challenge to science and technology analysts and policy makers alike. This paper reviews the general literature on "patent value" and assesses the extent to which these established measures, including patent citation, patent family, renewal and litigation data, can be applied to the university context. Our study examines indicators of patent value for short and mid-term evaluation purposes, rather than indicators that suffer from long time lags. We also explore the extent to which differences in IP management practices at universities may have an impact on the validity and robustness of possible indicators. Our observations from four UK universities indicate that there are considerable differences between universities as to how they approach the IP management process, which in turn has implications for valuing patents and how they track activity in this area. In their current form, data as collected by universities are not sufficiently robust to serve as the basis for evaluation or resource allocation.
    Keywords: intellectual property management, patenting, United Kingdom universitities, technology transfer, third stream, performance indicators
    JEL: O34
    Date: 2006–04–11
  6. By: Michael C. Kimmitt (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa); Kimberly M. Burnett (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)
    Abstract: Recently, the Hawaii Council on Economic Education conducted a survey of high school seniors to gauge their understanding of basic economic concepts. Based on these results, we conduct a series of case studies, consisting of interviews with principals and economics teachers at eight Hawaii public high schools. We summarize the qualitative and quantitative results of these interviews. We then use these and other data to estimate the effects of school, demographic, and other characteristics on average student achievement on the survey. We find that the improvement in student test scores as a result of a one semester economics course is modest, but that the single greatest determinant of achievement is overall school quality. Based on these and other findings, we present recommendations for policy and further research.
    JEL: A20 A22 I20 I21
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Martin Meyer (SPRU, University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between scientific publication and patenting activity. More specifically, this research examines for the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology whether researchers who both publish and patent are more productive and more highly cited than their peers who concentrate on scholarly publication in communicating their research results. This study is based on an analysis of the nanoscience publications and nanotechnology patents of a small set of European countries. While only a very small number of nanoscientists appear to hold patents in nanotechnology, a considerable number of nano-inventors seem to be actively publishing nanoscience research. Overall, the patenting scientists appear to outperform their solely publishing, non-inventing peers in terms of publication counts and citation frequency. However, a closer examination of the highly active and cited nano-authors points to a slightly different situation. While still over-represented among the highly cited authors, inventor-authors appear not to be among the most highly cited authors in that category with one notable exception. A policy-relevant conclusion is that, generally speaking, patenting activity does not appear to have an adverse impact on the publication and citation performance of researchers.
    Keywords: nanotechnology, inventors, bibliometrics, patenting activity, publications
    JEL: O34
    Date: 2006–04–11
  8. By: Lynne G. Zucker; Michael R. Darby
    Abstract: This paper extends the concept of star scientist to all areas of science and technology. We follow 1,838 stars' careers 1981-2004, using their publication history to locate them each year. The number of stars in a U.S. region or in one of the top-25 science and technology countries has a consistently significant and quantitatively large positive effect on the probability of firm entry in the same area of science and technology. Thus the stars themselves rather than their potentially disembodied discoveries play a key role in the formation or transformation of high-tech industries. Other measures of academic knowledge stocks have weaker and less consistent effects. We identify separate economic geography effects in poisson regressions for the 179 BEA-defined U.S. regions, but not for the 25 countries analysis. Stars become more concentrated over time, moving from areas with relatively few peers to those with many in their discipline. A special counter-flow operating on the U.S. versus the other 24 countries is the tendency of foreign-born American stars to return to their homeland when it develops sufficient strength in their area of science and technology. In contrast high impact articles and university articles and patents all tend to diffuse, becoming more equally distributed over time.
    JEL: O31 J61 J44 M13
    Date: 2006–04
  9. By: Stuart J.H. Graham (Georgia Institute of Technology); Dietmar Harhoff (University of Munich, CEPR and ZEW)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of adopting a post-grant review institution in the US patent system by comparing the “opposition careers” of European Patent Office (EPO) equivalents of litigated US patents to those of a control group of EPO patents. We demonstrate several novel methods of "twinning" US and European patents and investigate the implications of employing these different methods in our data analysis. We find that EPO equivalents of US litigated patent applications are more likely to be awarded EPO patent protection than are equivalents of unlitigated patents, and the opposition rate for EPO equivalents of US litigated patents is about three times higher than for equivalents of unlitigated patents. Patents attacked under European opposition are shown to be either revoked completely or narrowed in about 70 percent of all cases. For EPO equivalents of US litigated patents, the appeal rate against opposition outcomes is considerably higher than for control-group patents. Based on our estimates, we calculate a range of net welfare benefits that would accrue from adopting a post-grant review system. Our results provide strong evidence that the United States could benefit substantially from adopting an administrative post-grant patent review, provided that the post-grant mechanism is not too costly.
    Keywords: patent system, post-grant review, opposition, litigation
    JEL: K41 K11 L10
    Date: 2006–04

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