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Contracting Over the Disclosure of Scientific Knowledge: Intellectual Property and Academic Publication

Joshua Gans, Fiona E. Murray and Scott Stern

No 19560, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: This paper provides a theoretical investigation of the tension over knowledge disclosure between firms and their scientific employees. While empirical research suggests that scientists exhibit a "taste for science," such open disclosures can limit a firm's competitive advantage or ability to profitably commercialize their innovations. To explore how this tension is resolved we focus on the strategic interaction between researchers and firms bargaining over whether (and how) knowledge will be disclosed. We evaluate four disclosure strategies: secrecy, patenting, open science (scientific publication) and patent-paper pairs providing insights into the determinants of the disclosure strategy of a firm. We find that patents and publications can be complementary instruments facilitating the disclosure of knowledge-providing predictions as to when stronger IP protection regimes might drive openness by firms.

JEL-codes: M55 O32 O34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-ino, nep-ipr, nep-pr~, nep-knm, nep-sog and nep-tid
Note: PR
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (6)

Published as Gans, Joshua S. & Murray, Fiona E. & Stern, Scott, 2017. "Contracting over the disclosure of scientific knowledge: Intellectual property and academic publication," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 820-835.

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