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Wesley M. Cohen, Snow Family Professor of Fuqua School of Business and Professor of Economics and Professor of Business Administration and Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship of Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Wesley M. Cohen

Wesley M. Cohen (Ph.D., Economics, Yale University, 1981) is Professor of Economics and Management and the Frederick C. Joerg Distinguished Professor of Business Administration in the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. He also holds secondary appointments in Duke’s Department of Economics and School of Law, is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and serves as the Faculty Director of the Fuqua School’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Before coming to Duke in 2002, Professor Cohen taught at Carnegie Mellon University for 20 years, after having spent a year as Postdoctoral Fellow in Industrial Organization at the Harvard Business School.

With a research focus on the economics of technological change and R&D, Professor Cohen has examined the determinants of innovative activity and performance, considering the roles of firm size, market structure, firm learning, knowledge flows, university research and the means that firms use to protect their intellectual property, with a particular focus on patents. Most recently, he has conducted research on the “division of innovative labor,” investigating the ties across firms, and between firms other institutions that influence innovative performance.

He has published widely in scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, the Review of Economics and Statistics, Science, and the Strategic Management Journal, and has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Ford Foundation, among others. He served for five years as a Main Editor for Research Policy and served on the National Academies’ Committee on Intellectual Property Rights in the Knowledge-Based Economy, the National Academies' Panel on Research and Development Statistics at the National Science Foundation, and, most recently, the National Academies’ Committee on the Management of University Intellectual Property. He was named to the World Economic Forum’s “Global Innovation 100” in 2008. He has taught courses on the economics of technological change, industrial organization economics, policy analysis, organizational behavior, corporate strategy, entrepreneurship, technology strategy and the management of intellectual capital. He has also consulted on legal issues bearing on intellectual property.

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Teaching (Fall 2019):

    TBA, F 03:00 AM-04:00 AM

Ph.D.Yale University1981
M.Phil.Yale University1978
M.A.Yale University1978
B.A.Yale University1973
Research Interests: Strategy, Technology and Knowledge Management, Economics of Technological Change

Areas of Interest:

Economics of Technological Change
Industrial Organization Economics


Measurement • Patents

Curriculum Vitae
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Cohen, WM; Fjeld, J, The three legs of a stool: Comment on Richard Nelson, “The sciences are different and the differences matter”, Research Policy, vol. 45 no. 9 (November, 2016), pp. 1708-1712, Elsevier BV [doi]  [abs]
  2. Arora, A; Cohen, WM; Walsh, JP, The acquisition and commercialization of invention in American manufacturing: Incidence and impact (July, Submitted, 2016), pp. 1113-1128, Elsevier BV [doi]  [abs]
  3. Cohen, WM, Innovation and Technological Change, Economics of, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition (March, 2015), pp. 160-168, Elsevier, ISBN 9780080970868 [doi]  [abs]
  4. Cohen, WM, R&D Information Flows, Appropriability and R&D Intensity, in Papers and proceedings of the Advanced Technology Program’s International Conferences on the Economic Evaluation of Technological Chang, edited by Spivack, RN (February, 2015), pp. 22-29, NIST Special Publication 952
  5. Cohen, WM, Economics of Innovation and Technological Change: Empirical Studies, in International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (February, 2015), Elsevier

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