Academic Entrepreneurship: The Bayh-Dole Act versus the Professor’s Privilege

Reprint No. 2019:50

Author(s): Thomas Åstebro, Serguey Braguinsky, Pontus Braunerhjelm and Anders Broström Year: 2019 Title: ILR Review Volume (No.): 72 (5) Pages: 1094–1122
Online article (restrictions may apply)

Is the Bayh-Dole intellectual property regime associated with more and better academic entrepreneurship than the Professor’s Privilege regime? The authors examine data on US PhDs in the natural sciences, engineering, and medical fields who became entrepreneurs in 1993–2006 and compare this to similar data from Sweden. They find that, in both countries, those with an academic background have lower rates of entry into entrepreneurship than do those with a non-academic background. The relative rate of academics starting entrepreneurial firms is slightly lower in the United States than in Sweden. Moreover, the mean economic gains from becoming an entrepreneur are negative, both for PhDs originating in academia and for non-academic settings in both countries. Analysis indicates that selection into entrepreneurship occurs from the lower part of the ability distribution among academics. The results suggest that policies supporting entrepreneurial decisions by younger, tenure-track academics may be more effective than are general incentives to increase academic entrepreneurship.

Åstebro, Thomas, Serguey Braguinsky, Pontus Braunerhjelm and Anders Broström (2019), "Academic Entrepreneurship: The Bayh-Dole Act versus the Professor’s Privilege". ILR Review 72(5), 1094–1122.

Thomas Åstebro


Ph: +33 1 39677483

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se