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Of Mice and Academics: Examining the Effect of Openness on Innovation

Abstract : This paper argues that openness, by lowering costs to access existing research, can enhance both early and late stage innovation through greater exploration of novel research directions. We examine a natural experiment in openness: late-1990s NIH agreements that reduced academics' access costs regarding certain genetically engineered mice. Implementing difference-in-differences estimators, we find that increased openness encourages entry by new researchers and exploration of more diverse research paths, and does not reduce the creation of new genetically engineered mice. Our findings highlight a neglected cost of strong intellectual property restrictions: lower levels of exploration leading to reduced diversity of research output.
Keywords : Innovation
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Contributor : Caroline Bauer <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 10:05:05 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 3:54:27 AM

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Philippe Aghion, Mathias Dewatripont, Julian Kolev, Fiona Murray, Scott Stern. Of Mice and Academics: Examining the Effect of Openness on Innovation. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, 2016, 8 (1), pp.212-252. ⟨10.1257/pol.20140062⟩. ⟨halshs-01496928⟩



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