Organizational and individual determinants of patent production of academic scientists and engineers in the United States

This article contributes to an important literature on the determinants of academic patenting. We develop and test a model that predicts how individual characteristics and organizational factors affect individual patenting production. The analysis uses zero-inflated negative binomial regression on data from a 2010 national survey of 1,379 US-based university scientists and engineers, 624 of which hold no patents assigned to their current university. Findings from this research generally support our hypotheses that individual and organizational factors are associated with individual patent production. We find that while university patent policy and university technology transfer offices may be important for encouraging or discouraging scientists to patent the first time, department incentives and individual preferences and characteristics predict the number of patents that faculty produce. This research supports prior literature and develops new perspectives on how universities and policy-makers can understand and shape how individual and organizational constraints and incentives affect patent productivity.

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