A Firm Scientific Community: Industry Participation and Knowledge Diffusion
75 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2020 Last revised: 13 Aug 2020
Date Written: June 29, 2020
We study the diffusion of knowledge from scientists to ﬁrms within scientiﬁc communities. We build on a unique dataset on conference proceedings as “paper trail” of almost all relevant conference series in computer science since 1996. More than 5000 ﬁrms appear as conference sponsors or as afﬁliations in proceedings. Their participation is concentrated in the highly ranked conferences and their scientiﬁc contributions are on average highly cited. We exploit direct ﬂights as an instrumental variable for the participation choice of scientists between a conference where a ﬁrm participates and other similar conferences. The participation in the same conference has a positive causal effect on knowledge diffusion to the ﬁrm’s scientiﬁc and inventive activities. Additional analyses suggest that interactions and collaborations with scientists that remain external to the ﬁrm are likely a key mechanism of this diffusion. The effects are remarkably stronger the larger the ﬁrm’s investments in participation.
Keywords: Knowledge diffusion, Corporate Science, Conferences
JEL Classification: O33, O32, D22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation