University Innovation and the Professor’s Privilige

Hans Krogh Hvide, Benjamin F. Jones

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

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National policies take varied approaches to encouraging university-based innovation. This paper studies a natural experiment: the end of the “professor’s privilege” in Norway, where university researchers previously enjoyed full rights to their innovations. Upon the reform, Norway moved toward the typical U.S. model, where the university holds majority rights. Using comprehensive data on Norwegian workers, firms, and patents, we find a 50% decline in both entrepreneurship and patenting rates by university researchers after the reform. Quality measures for university start-ups and patents also decline. Applications to literatures on university technology transfer, innovation incentives, and taxes and entrepreneurship are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAberdeen
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen: Business School
Number of pages63
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Publication series

NameDiscussion Paper in Economics
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen
ISSN (Electronic)0143-4543


  • professor’s privilege
  • innovation rights
  • innovation incentives
  • university technology transfer
  • intellectual property rights


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