Job Market Paper

Bread Upon the Waters: Corporate Science and the Use of Follow-on Public Research.

Firms’ scientific publications influence follow-on scientific inquiry at academic institutions. I study the benefits of external follow-on research for the originating firms’ subsequent innovation outcomes. To account for the unobserved quality of the underlying science, I develop a new instrumental variable that exploits the quasi-random assignment of accepted manuscripts into scientific journal issues. I find that follow-on research drives firms’ subsequent scientific investments and patenting. It is valuable both as an input and for validating the quality of internal science. The benefits depend on the firm’s competitive position, possession of complementary assets, and the characteristics of the research field. I contribute to the understanding of why firms participate in public research.

Draft available upon request.

Winner of the 2023 Best Paper Award in Memory of Paul A. David, the Workshop on the Organization, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research (Max Plank Institute for Innovation and Competition).

Presented at the Workshop on The Organization, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research (Munich, April 2023) and The Open Innovation in Science (OIS) Research Conference (Vienna, May 2023). Scheduled presentations at Strategy Science Conference (Munich, June 2023) and the 2023 CCC Doctoral Conference (St. Gallen, June 2023).

Journal Publications

(When) Does Patent Protection Spur Cumulative Research Within Firms? (with Ashish Arora, Sharon Belenzon and Matt Marx), forthcoming in Journal of Law, Economics and Organization. NBER Working Paper 28880.

We estimate the effect of patent protection on follow-on investments in corporate scientific research. We exploit a new method for identifying an exogenous reduction in the protection a granted patent provides. Using data on public, research-active firms between 1990 and 2015, we find that firms respond to a decrease in patent protection by reducing follow-on research, as measured by a drop in internal citations to an associated scientific article. We study this effect across firms with varying commercialization capabilities and across varying thickness levels of markets for technology. We find that the effect is stronger in technologies where patents are traded less frequently. Our findings are consistent with a stylized model whereby patent protection is a strategic substitute for commercialization capability. Our results imply that stronger patents encourage follow-on research, but also shift the locus of research from big firms toward smaller firms and startups. As patent protection has strengthened since the mid-1980s, our results help explain why the American innovation ecosystem has undergone a growing division of innovative labor, where startups become important sources of new ideas.

Pre-PhD Policy Publications

Israeli Agri-tech and Indian Agricultural Challenges: Recommendations for an Updated Governmental Policy, Milken Innovation Center, 2018.

Regional Population Scenarios for the State of Israel 2015-2040 (with Shmuel Abramzon), Prime Minister Office of Israel, 2017.