Academic Freedom and Innovation: A Research Note

26 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2023

See all articles by David B. Audretsch

David B. Audretsch

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Christian Fisch

University of Luxembourg - Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT)

Chiara Franzoni

Politecnico di Milano - DIG

Paul P. Momtaz

Technische Universität München (TUM) - TUM School of Management; University College London Center for Blockchain Technologies; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Silvio Vismara

University of Bergamo

Date Written: March 10, 2023

Abstract

The first-ever article published in Research Policy was Casimir’s (1971) advocacy of academic freedom in light of the industry’s increasing influence on research in universities. Half a century later, the literature attests to the dearth of work on the role of academic freedom for innovation. To fill this gap, we employ instrumental variable techniques to identify the impact of academic freedom on the quantity (patent applications) and quality (patent citations) of innovation output. The empirical evidence suggests that improving academic freedom by one standard deviation increases patent applications and forward citations by 41% and 29%, respectively. The results hold in a representative sample of 157 countries over the 1900–2015 period. This research note is also an alarming plea to policymakers: Global academic freedom has declined over the past decade for the first time in the last century. Our estimates suggest that the decline of academic freedom has resulted in a global loss quantifiable with at least 4.0% fewer patents filed and 5.9% fewer patent citations.

Keywords: academic freedom, innovation, patent applications, forward citations

JEL Classification: O34

Suggested Citation

Audretsch, David B. and Fisch, Christian and Franzoni, Chiara and Momtaz, Paul P. and Vismara, Silvio, Academic Freedom and Innovation: A Research Note (March 10, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4384419 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4384419

David B. Audretsch

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Christian Fisch

University of Luxembourg - Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) ( email )

JFK Building
29, Avenue J.F Kennedy
Luxembourg, L-1885
Luxembourg

Chiara Franzoni

Politecnico di Milano - DIG ( email )

Piazza Leonardo da Vinci
Milan, Milano 20100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.dig.polimi.it/index.php?id=348&tx_wfqbe_pi1[id]=438

Paul P. Momtaz (Contact Author)

Technische Universität München (TUM) - TUM School of Management ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, 80333
Germany

University College London Center for Blockchain Technologies ( email )

UCL CBT UCL Computer Science
Malet Place London WC
London, London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Silvio Vismara

University of Bergamo ( email )

Via dei Caniana
2
Bergamo, 24127
Italy
24127 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://scholar.google.it/citations?user=Sa8sBkoAAAAJ&hl=en

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