Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises

Posted: 17 Nov 2009

See all articles by Lynne G. Zucker

Lynne G. Zucker

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Michael R. Darby

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Global Economics and Management (GEM) Area; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Marilynn B. Brewer

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Psychology

Date Written: 1998

Abstract

Examines the growth and development of the biotechnology industry, looking at the effects of individual scientists, universities, and federal research support. Specific focus is on the development of the underlying science in biotechnology and the location of those individuals involved in the development of this science. Data used in this analysis were collected from 751 firms that existed in 183 economic regions of the United States for a fourteen year period (1976-1989). A set of 327 star scientists were also identified. These scientists accounted for approximately 17.3% of published articles in this field as of early 1990. The data is analyzed both over the long-run and on an annual basis. Results using the long-run model show that location of the development of the biotechnology industry in the 1980's was strongly influenced by intellectual human capital variables. Star scientists that play an important role in the process of spillover and geographic agglomeration are able to be identified. Results of the annual model also show support for the strong role that intellectual human capital played in determining the direction of the biotechnology industry. Basic scientific research is shown to be extremely valuable in this industry. Although there was a tendency for intellectual human capital to thrive around universities, the stronger determinant of industry location was the positioning of scientists with high research productivity. (SRD)

Keywords: Knowledge spillovers, Geographic distribution, Human capital, Economic development, Scientists, R&D expenditures, Colleges & universities, Intellectual capital, Venture capital firms, Location factors, Biotechnology industry

Suggested Citation

Zucker, Lynne G. and Darby, Michael R. and Brewer, Marilynn B., Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises (1998). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1505924

Lynne G. Zucker (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361 Departments of Sociology and Policy Studies 2201 Hershey mc 155107
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1361
United States
310-825-3227 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Michael R. Darby

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Global Economics and Management (GEM) Area ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Box 951481
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States
310-825-4180 (Phone)
310-454-2748 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Marilynn B. Brewer

Ohio State University (OSU) - Department of Psychology

1885 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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