Capturing Technological Opportunity Via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products

50 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2000 Last revised: 2 Nov 2012

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)

Date Written: January 1998

Abstract

Using detailed data on biotechnology in Japan, we find that identifiable collaborations" between particular university star scientists and firms have a large positive impact on firms'" research productivity, increasing the average firm's biotech patents by 34 percent development by 27 percent, and products on the market by 8 percent as of 1989-1990. However there is little evidence of geographically localized knowledge spillovers. In early industry" formation, star scientists holding tacit knowledge required to practice recombinant DNA (genetic" engineering) were of great economic value, leading to incentives motivating their participation in" technology transfer. In Japan, the legal and institutional context implies that firm scientists work" in the stars' university laboratories in contrast to America where the stars are more likely to work" in the firm's labs. As a result, star collaborations in Japan are less localized around their research" universities so that the universities' local economic development impact is lessened. Stars'" scientific productivity is increased less during collaborations with firms in Japan as compared to" the U.S.

Suggested Citation

Zucker, Lynne G. and Darby, Michael R., Capturing Technological Opportunity Via Japan's Star Scientists: Evidence from Japanese Firms' Biotech Patents and Products (January 1998). NBER Working Paper No. w6360. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226109

Lynne G. Zucker (Contact Author)

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

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Michael R. Darby

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

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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

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