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AIEA Seminar Series

The Color of Money: Federal vs. Industry Funding of University Research
  • Sabrina Howell (NYU Stern)
  • Nov 20 9AM Taipei/Beijing/HK/Singapore / Nov 19, 8 PM US EST, 2021
  • Tania Babina, Alex Xi He, Elisabeth Ruth Perlman, Joseph Staudt
  • Sharon Belenzon (Duke Fuqua)
  • https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUvduquqD4pH9AWI2F5lo1yh3u5Hop_Se-s
ABSTRACT U.S. universities have experienced a shift in research funding away from federal and towards private industry sources. This paper evaluates whether the source of funding – federal or private industry – is relevant for commercialization of research outputs. We link person-level grant data from 22 universities to patent and career outcomes (including IRS W-2 records). To identify a causal effect, we exploit individual-level variation in exposure to narrow federal R&D programs stemming from pre-existing field specialization. We instrument for the researcher’s funding sources with aggregate supply shocks to federal funding within these narrow fields. The results show that a higher share of federal funding reduces patenting and the chances of joining an incumbent firm, while increasing the chances of hightech entrepreneurship and of remaining employed in academia. A decline in the federal share of funding is offset by an increase in the private share of funding, which has opposite effects. We conclude that the incentives of private funders to appropriate research outputs have important implications for the trajectory of university researcher careers and intellectual property.
To be available
Sabrina Howell (NYU Stern) 

 

Sabrina Howell is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the New York University Stern School of Business. She is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at the Private Equity Research Consortium. Professor Howell’s research focuses on entrepreneurship, private equity, fintech, innovation, energy, and China. She is the recipient of the 2020 AQR Asset Management Institute Young Researcher Award and the 2020 Review of Financial Studies Referee of the Year Award, among other prizes. She also serves as an Associate Editor at Management Science. She received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She previously worked as an energy consultant for Charles River Associates in Houston, and on energy security policy for Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) in Washington DC.

 

To be available
Sharon Belenzon (Duke Fuqua) 

 

Sharon Belenzon is a professor in the Strategy area at the Fuqua School of Business of Duke University and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). His research investigates the role of business in advancing science. In separate work, he also studies how firm organizational structure is related to corporate strategy and economic outcomes. His research has been featured in top academic journals, such as Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Journal, Research Policy and Journal of Law and Economics. He received my PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science and completed post-doctorate work at the University of Oxford, Nuffield College. He was the ‘07 recipient of the Kauffman foundation post-doctorate fellowship at the NBER. He earned MA and BA degrees in Economics from Tel-Aviv University, Israel. He has been an Associate Editor for Management Science from January 2016 and for Strategic Management Journal from July 2016.