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Do university technology transfers increase firms’ innovation?

María García-Vega and Óscar Vicente-Chirivella

European Economic Review, 2020, vol. 123, issue C

Abstract: We investigate how technology transfers from universities to private firms influence firm innovativeness. Using data on R&D acquisitions from universities of more than 10,000 Spanish firms for the period 2005–2013 and applying propensity score matching techniques, we find that technology transfers from universities strongly increase firm innovativeness. We next explore heterogeneous effects in order to analyze whether these gains are mediated by firm size and the business cycle. Our results suggest that the contribution of universities to firm innovation is particularly important for small firms and during the whole business cycle. The contribution of universities goes beyond its direct effect on innovation: We find that technology transfers from universities generate positive spillovers and enhance firms’ internal R&D capabilities. Our results suggest that the knowledge generated by universities makes an important contribution to economic growth through technology transfers, which makes firms more innovative. Hence, knowledge creation by universities provides an important public good.

Keywords: Universities; Technology transfers; Innovation; Firms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L25 D22 L24 O31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:123:y:2020:i:c:s0014292120300209

DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103388

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European Economic Review is currently edited by T.S. Eicher, A. Imrohoroglu, E. Leeper, J. Oechssler and M. Pesendorfer

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