> Upcoming Events
Science-Based Business Initiative Seminars
at Harvard Business School
SEWP in cooperation with the SBBI at the Harvard Business School has been a regular part of a Fall and spring lecture series that meets at the Harvard Business School and other weeks at the Department of Economics, Harvard University.
[Full Seminar Schedule]
William R. Kerr
(HBS and NBER)
"The Mechanics of Endogenous Innovation and Growth: Evidence from Historical U.S. Patents"
(paper joint with Ufuk Akcigit and Tom Nicholas)
February 3, 2017
Harvard Business School
ABSTRACT: How does technological progress occur? Is the nature of innovation stable over time? We shed new light on these questions through a mixture of empirics and theory. We begin with an empirical analysis of patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark office. This analysis reveals several striking facts that emphasize the increasing importance of novel combinations of technologies for U.S. patents, compared to either new technology development or the reuse/refinement of older technology combinations, and the localized nature of these recombinations. We build an endogenous growth model that can match these facts and illustrate the underlying mechanics of the technological development process.
"Evaluating the Quality of Chinese Patents"
(paper joint with Richard Freeman)
February 10, 2017
Harvard Business School
(Center for Urban Science and Progress, Wagner School, NYU)
"Research Funding and Regional Economies"
NBER WP 23018, January 2017
(paper joint with Nathan Goldschlag,
Stefano Bianchini, Joseba Sanmartín Sola,
and Bruce Weinberg)
February 17, 2017
Harvard Business School
To RSVP or for questions on a seminar or to join the mailing list or arrange parking, please contact email@example.com
Past topics included:
Happy Americans, Unhappy Japanese, and Chinese on the Move: How software engineers work and live in different countries
The Growing Importance of
Social Skills in the Labor Market
The BioPharma Dilemma
Emerging Technologies and Regulatory Terrain: Reflections on the Decade of Nano
Connecting entrepreneurs in local ecosystem: From innovation to entrepreneurship theory
Gene Therapy The Bluebird Bio Way -- What's Bull*** Got to Do With It?
Governments as Partners:
The Role of Collaboration in
Cleantech Startup Innovation
Modelling Science, Technology, and Innovation: Key Challenges and Opportunities
Coordinated Expertise: How the Division of Knowledge Creates Co-Worker omplementarities
Bias Against Novelty in Science:
A Cautionary Tale for Users of
The Ecosystem of Silicon Valley: Entrepreneurs, Venture Capital, and Accelerators"
Two Studies of Innovation in China
Killing the Golden Goose? The Decline of Science in Corporate R&D
The Mobiity of Elite Life Scientists: Professional and Personal Determinants
The Effects of Restrictions on Secondary Pharmaceutical Patents: Brazil and India in Comparative Perspective
Building a Biotech Company:
Challenges and Lessons
How Do Patents Affect
Evidence from the Human Genome
Effects of Attending Scientific
Meetings on Research Outcomes
Financing and the Market for Ideas:
Evidence from the Biopharma Industry
A Revealed Preference Analaysis
of PhD Students' Choices
Over Employment Outcomes
Subject Citation Networks and Science Policy
Repairing Broken Genes: Is Genome Editing Ready to Deliver Medicines?
The Importance of Corporate Venture Capital
to Source Innovation in the
Biotech Innovation Ecosystem
Science, Technology and Innovation in China
Identifying Career Pathways for PhDs in Science
Synthetic Biology for Real-World Applications
Collaboration, Stars, and the Changing rganization of Science: Evidence from Evolutionary Biology
The Effects of High-Skilled Immigration on Firms: Evidence from H-1B Visa Lotteries
The Experimental Revolution in Business
Cubist - Battling Superbugs:
The Intersection of Science and Policy
Endogenous Selection into
Single and Coauthorships by
Economics and Management
The use and misuse of patent data:
Issues for corporate finance and beyond
Moving People with Ideas. Innovation, inter-regional mobility and firm heterogeneity
Pollution and Worker Productivity
Balancing strategy, market forces, employment needs and early stage drug development - Vapogenix
Using Bibliometric Data and Social Network Analysis to Model the Scientific Workforce
Evaluating Patent Licensing Agreements
for Technology Diffusion at the
U.S. National Labs
Agglomeration and Innovation
Where Do Firms Open
R&D Labs in the U.S.?
House of Green Cards: Statistical or
Preference-based Inequality in the
Employment of Foreign Nationals
The Reverse Matthew Effect:
Catastrophe and Consequence in
Falling Behind? - Boom, Bust, and the Global Race for Scientific Talent
Are the 'Best and Brightest' Going into Finance? Career Choice and Skill Development of MIT Graduates
The Deteriorating Career Prospects of Scientists
Knowledge Spillovers from Clean and Dirty Technologies: A Patent Citation Analysis
Global Markets and Local Companies
Accelerating Innovation and Medical Product Development for Cancer, Diabetes and Infectious Diseases: Case Studies
Mobile Scientists, Networks and Performance
Trade Induced Technical Change?
The Impact of Chinese Imports on Innovation, IT and Productivity
Why Do Women Scientists Get Less Cites?
Working with a non-profit disease organization to bring a new therapy to patients; the Vertex-Cystic Fibrosis Foundation collaboration
Prizes and Productivity: How Winning the Fields Medal Affects Scientific Output
Understanding Breakthrough Emergence through Missed Opportunities
Do Tax Credits Stimulate R&D Spending? The Effect of the R&D Tax Credit in its First Decade
Brain Drain: a Scale of Signaling Gaps? Lessons from US-Israel Case
Do Tax Credits Stimulate R&D Spending? The Effect of the R&D Tax Credit in its First Decade
Building Sustainable Companies in the Age of Capital Efficiency
From Lab Bench to Innovation:
Critical Challenges to Nascent
Effects of Changes in Federal Funding for Academic Life Sciences R&D: Crowding-In versus Crowding-Out in the
How a Non-Scientist Adds Value to Biopharmaceutical Research and Development
Experiences in the Emerging Profession of Technology-Based Entrepreneuring
Challenges Facing the 21st Century University: A View from the Office of Institutional Research
Globalization of Science and Engineering Research Within and Across Countries
Healthcare Venture Capital - from a practitioner's point of view
Analyzing Collaboration Using Harvard Catalyst Profiles
The Tragedy of the Risk-Perception Commons: Culture Conflict, Rationality Conflict, and Climate Change
Driving Innovation at the Intersection of Science and Application: The Power of Pasteur's Quadrant
Lobbying, Congressional Oversight and Agency Allocations in U.S. Science Policy: Evidence from Federal Funding for Rare Diseases
and Health Expenditures in the Health Reform Era
Transforming Biogen Idec
Where Do Firms Patent? Measuring Intra-Firm Spillovers for R&D
Brave Blue World - new trends, emerging technologies and market opportunities
Designing Markets for Prediction
The Market for Patents: Themes Developed From the Files of One Million Recent Patent Applications
Commercializing Technology from University Research
Scale-Adjusted Indicators of Research Activity: The case of Scientific Collaboration
"Bias Against Novelty in Science"
Jian Wang, Reinhilde Veugelers, and Paula Stephan issued an NBER Working Paper in April 2016 on “Bias against Novelty in Science: A Cautionary Tale for Users of Bibliometric Indicators.” The paper suggests that papers with new ideas are high-risk, high-reward forms of research. In the short term, new ideas meet significant resistance from their “home” field or academic discipline. It can take a long time before new approaches gain traction, and thus there could be considerable risk, especially for younger scholars seeking to secure an academic career.
[Go to article]
In July 2016, Beryl Lieff Benderly featured this research in an overview for Science online called “How scientific culture discourages new ideas”
[Go to article]
Who Owns the Robots Rules the World: The deeper threat of robotization"
By Richard B. Freeman
Amidst dire headlines and predictions that as many as half the jobs will be lost over the next two decades, economist Richard B. Freeman explores the rise of the robots and its implications for society. His article discusses robo-nomics and what can be done to respond to the challenges of advancing robotization.
[Go to article]
Science Careers from the journal Science:
New Ph.D. incomes ‘surprisingly’ low"
By Beryl Lieff Benderly
December 10, 2015
“What is … striking is the low salaries,” writes scientific labor force expert Hal Salzman, of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, in New Jersey, in an email to Science Careers. The best-paid field is engineering, with an average income of just above $65,000, followed closely by math and computer science. Physics comes next, with an average income that just tops $50,000. Then come social sciences, “other science,” and chemistry, all in the high $40,000s. Biology trails distantly at $36,000. Graduates in education and health fields on average out-earn the biologists, and the arts and humanities scholars finish last.
[Go to article]
THE BOOMS & BUSTS OF SCIENCE FUNDING AND THE CASE FOR STABILIZATION
By Michael Teitelbaum, LWP Sr. Research Associate
"Although the US research enterprise is successful and productive, Michael Teitelbaum explains it is not very stable. This instability is primarily due to a history of boom & bust cycles of funding. The most recent cycle occurred from 1998 to 2008, when the NIH budget doubled and then abruptly stalled. These boom & bust cycles are harmful to universities, faculty, and, most especially, early-career scientists and trainees. Teitelbaum offers three solutions for how to bring stability to the US research enterprise and make it sustainably productive."
[Go to video]
To build a scientist:Thought leaders across the globe answer one question: what
is the biggest missing piece in how we educate scientists?
Responses ranged from the practical to the philosophical.
16 J U LY 2015 | VOL 523| p. 371
Nature included suggestions from Michael Teitelbaum, author of Falling Behind?
STEM crisis or STEM surplus? Yes and yes
by Yi Xue and Richard C. Larson
"The last decade has seen considerable concern regarding a shortage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers to meet the demands of the labor market. At the same time, many experts have presented evidence of a STEM worker surplus. A comprehensive literature review, in conjunction with employment statistics, newspaper articles, and our own interviews with company recruiters, reveals a significant heterogeneity in the STEM labor market: the academic sector is generally oversupplied, while the government sector and private industry have shortages in specific areas.
[Go to Report]
National Science Board report on the state of the scientific and engineering workforce:
Revisiting the STEM Workforce: A Companion to Science and Engineering Indicators 2014
February 4, 2015
The National Science Board (NSB, Board) examined recent STEM workforce studies and debates, consulted
numerous experts, and explored data in our 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators (Indicators) report to
develop insights that could facilitate more constructive discussions about the STEM workforce and inform
Three primary insights emerged:
I: The "STEM workforce" is extensive and critical to innovation and
competitiveness. It is also defined in various ways and is made up of
II: STEM knowledge and skills enable multiple, dynamic pathways to STEM
and non-STEM occupations alike.
III: Assessing, enabling, and strengthening workforce pathways is
essential to the mutually reinforcing goals of individual and national
prosperity and competitiveness.
The Board received expertise and insights from LWP faculty co-chair Richard Freeman and LWP Senior Research Associate Michael Teitelbaum.
Boom, Bust, and the Global Race for Scientific Talent
Princeton University Press, 2014
Michael S. Teitelbaum
Is the United States falling behind in the global race for scientific and engineering talent? Are U.S.
employers facing shortages of the skilled workers that they need to compete in a globalized world?
Such claims from some employers and educators have been widely embraced by mainstream media
and political leaders, and have figured prominently in recent policy debates about education, federal
expenditures, tax policy, and immigration. Falling Behind? offers careful examinations of the existing
evidence and of its use by those involved in these debates.
[Go to Introduction to the book and preview of the chapters]
Featured in New York Review of Books, "The Frenzy About High-Tech Talent"
by Andrew Hacker, July 9, 2015 [Go to Review]
Discussed in Karin Klein's opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, "The truth about the great American science shortfall,"
February 24, 2014
[Go to Article]
How Economics Shapes Science
Harvard University Press, 2012
by Paula E. Stephan
The beauty of science may be pure and eternal, but the practice of science costs money. And scientists, being human, respond to incentives and costs, in money and glory. Choosing a research topic, deciding what papers to write and where to publish them, sticking with a familiar area or going into something new—the payoff may be tenure or a job at a highly ranked university or a prestigious award or a bump in salary. The risk may be not getting any of that.
At a time when science is seen as an engine of economic growth, Paula Stephan brings a keen understanding of the ongoing cost-benefit calculations made by individuals and institutions as they compete for resources and reputation. She shows how universities offload risks by increasing the percentage of non-tenure-track faculty, requiring tenured faculty to pay salaries from outside grants, and staffing labs with foreign workers on temporary visas. With funding tight, investigators pursue safe projects rather than less fundable ones with uncertain but potentially path-breaking outcomes. Career prospects in science are increasingly dismal for the young because of ever-lengthening apprenticeships, scarcity of permanent academic positions, and the difficulty of getting funded.
Vivid, thorough, and bold, How Economics Shapes Science highlights the growing gap between the haves and have-nots—especially the vast imbalance between the biomedical sciences and physics/engineering—and offers a persuasive vision of a more productive, more creative research system that would lead and benefit the world.
Paula Stephan is Professor of Economics at Georgia State University and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research working on SEWP. She has served on the Board on Higher Education and Workforce at the NRC, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Council, and the Social, Behavioral, and Economics Advisory Committee at the NSF.
Book Review from Kent Anderson and “The Scholarly Kitchen” blog:
[Go to Blog]
Interview with Kent Anderson at “The Scholarly Kitchen”: [Go to interview]
Paula Stephan named Science Careers Person of the Year, 2012
[Go to Article]
* SEWP Collaborations*
Sewp is working with Harvard Medical School Catalyst Program
The Harvard Medical School Catalyst is an over $200 million HMS and HMS affiliate project to improve clinical and translational research. From their website: the purpose of Catalyst is to develop "systematic way[s] for investigators from disparate disciplines and institutions to find each other and form teams, to gain open access to tools and technologies, and to obtain seed funding to embark upon new areas of investigation. This demands a systematic effort to remove the barriers and obstacles to cross-institutional collaboration. A catalyst lowers the barriers to reaction, and thus speeds a reaction that would normally have occurred at a much slower rate. Speeding the reduction of human illness is the only function of the Harvard Catalyst."
SEWP is working with the Lee Nadler, the Director of Catalyst and the PI on the founding NIH grants. He has two pilot projects. One combines an "open science" platform to develop new research strategies to combat disease with a novel team-building process to implement these strategies. The "open science" part will, hopefully, generate novel strategies that will be successful where previous strategies have failed because they arise from skill sets and perspectives that are traditionally not utilized. The team-building is novel because of incentives for collaboration across disciplines and institutions.
[For more information at the Catalyst website]
The second project addresses the waste due to duplication in medical science. This pilot catalogues and uploads into a virtual network information about research resources located within research laboratories in nine universities across the U.S. These resources include reagents, tissue samples, mice, lab equipment. The idea here is by making these resources that are available for swapping known, "eagle-i" (as it has been dubbed) will greatly reduce the cost of science, increase research productivity, and increase participation and diversity in science.
[Read Press Release]
Science & Engineering News
The Long-Term U.S. Decline in Global Rankings on University R&D Spending
According to a report of May 2011 by The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
covering the years 2000-2008, the United States ended up “ranked 22nd out of 30 countries in
government-funded university research and 21st in business-funded university research.” The
researchers suggest that with the long-term decline of several centralized corporate R&D labs,
it is crucial that university institutions pick up the slack for what they regard as lackluster R&D
investment in the USA: [Read Article]
Nevertheless, a survey of the National Science Foundation indicates that during FY 2009 and
FY2010, university R&D spending took a notably upward swing with the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Published in March 2012, the NSF found in its Higher Education
Research and Development (HERD) Survey that “When adjusted for inflation, higher education
R&D rose by 6.0% in FY 2010”: [Read Article ]
With Washington facing Tea Party-inspired demands for government rollback and bipartisan
calls for fiscal austerity, universities will find daunting challenges ahead in trying to build
upon the ARRA surge in R&D spending. The U.S. continues to lead the world in absolute
R&D spending, with $427.2 billion in gross expenditures on R&D (PPP adjusted) during 2011.
Building upon a 22 percent annual rate of growth in R&D spending between 1996 and 2007,
China came in second in 2011 at $174.9 billion, according to Battelle and R&D Magazine.
as Posted by Christopher Shea in the Boston Globe, January 12, 2010
The economics blogger Mike Mandel found that 35 percent of college graduates have a degree beyond the B.A., up from 32.7 percent in 1999. ant to help foster innovation." The growth is at the masters (and professional) level, however: the proportion of workers with Ph.D's is on a slight downward curve, dipping under 4.5 percent in 2007 and still dropping. While the inflation-adusted earnings of workers with bachelor's or masters degrees have increased very slightly since 1999--a rise of one percent or less--the story was quite different for the doctorate. Employees with Ph.D.'s can expect to earn 10 percent less, in real dollars, than they would have a decade ago.
[Read Globe Article]
[Read Mandel Blog]
Federal funding of academic science and engineering (S&E) R&D failed to outpace inflation for the second year in a row.
According to a study by NSF, a 2-year decline during FY2006 and FY2007 in federal funding in constant dollars is unprecedented for this data series, which began in 1972
[Read Full Report]
University of California Post doc Union Wins Official Recognition
After a failed attempts in 2006, the PRO/UAW, has successfully organized the post docs on the 10 University of California (UC) campuses. The move brings an estimated 10% of U.S. post docs into UAW. The union faced no noticeable opposition..
[Read Full Article]
Career Patterns of Foreign Born Scientists and Engineers
Trained and or Working in the U.S.
By Richard Freeman, Paula Stephan and John Trumpbour,
The internationalization of science and engineering has transformed many debates concerning "brain drain" and brought increasing attention to concepts of global "brain circulation." Yet, much of this discussion is often based on insufficient evidence about the actual flows of scientific workers among nations or the composition of the workforce as it relates to origin, both in terms of birth and training. With the support of a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to Georgia State University, a workshop was held November 7, 2007 at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA with the purpose of exploring various approaches for studying career patterns of foreign-born scientists and engineers trained and or working in the U.S. The co-organizers of the workshop were Richard Freeman, Paula Stephan and John Trumpbour.
[Read the full report here]
Recent Articles By Vivek Wadhwa
Real Problem with Outsourcing,"
Vivek Wadhwa, BusinessweekViewpoint,
Nov 7, 2006.
that Engineering Gap,
" Vivek Wadhwa, Businessweek Viewpoint, Dec 13,
the Engineers Are
," Vivek Wadhwa, Gary Gereffi, Ben Rissing, Ryan
Ong. Issues in Science and Technology (NAS) Spring 07, page 73-84
The Future of the Biomedical Sciences
Paula Stephan, SEWP network
member and economist at Georgia State University, spoke about the future
of the biomedical sciences in her talk: "Early Careers for Biomedical
Scientists: Doubling (and Troubling) Outcomes" at Harvard University
on Feb. 27th, 2007. The message: employment opportunities are getting
worse for future biologists a trend that has to be reversed for the future
of the biomedical sciences in the US.
[Talk in PDF format]
Call for Proposals – Initial Access to Nanobank Data
Be One of the First to Tap into the Nanobank!
>>> Find out more here
Does Science Promote Women?
Evidence from Academia 1973-2001
By Donna K. Ginther and Shulamit Kahn
Many studies have shown that women are under-represented in tenured ranks in the sciences.
We evaluate whether gender differences in the likelihood of obtaining a tenure track job,
promotion to tenure, and promotion to full professor explain these facts using the 1973-2001
Survey of Doctorate Recipients.
Immigration In High-Skill Labor Markets:
the Impact Of Foreign Students On the Earnings Of Doctorates
By George Borjas
The rapid growth in the number of foreign students enrolled in American
universities has transformed the higher education system, particularly
at the graduate level. [full
Improving the Postdoctoral Experience: An Empirical Approach
By Geoff Davis
Recent reports have called for changes to the training of postdoctoral scientists and
engineers. We tested the hypothesis that the practices advocated make a measurable difference
in the experiences and productivity of postdoctoral researchers...
For all recent articles: [full article list]
Signs America's scientific edge is slipping
For economist Richard Freeman, the "Eureka!" moment came at an academic conference, when a Chinese colleague gave him a chart of the engineering and science doctorates being awarded by China's universities.
from the The Denver Post
America's Pressing Challenge
Science and Engineering Indicators has reported for almost a decade on the
rapid growth in scientific and engineering occupations in the United
States. The 2006 edition now reports that by 2012, U.S. occupations in science and engineering
fields are expected to grow by 1.25 million. That's 26 percent more than exist
today, while a 15 percent increase is expected in all other jobs.
from the Kansas City Infozine