Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Second Department


First Advisor

Lewis Davis




medical, research, state, basic, investments


The United States invests more into basic medical research than any other country. This research, mostly done at medical schools, leads to medical technology patented by private firms through a phenomenon known as knowledge spillover. This thesis will investigate the relationship between public investments in the basic medical research sector and the resulting effect on medical patents, contingent on geographic localization with state-level data. It is hypothesized that the larger the investments awarded to basic medical research organizations, the greater the number of medical patents within the state. The proposed model relates the number of medical patents per year in a given state, the dependent variable, as a function of the following independent variables: National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, National Science Foundation (NSF) funding, the number of civilian scientists and engineers within the state, and a state-specific research productivity parameter. The data come from a variety of sources including Jaffe and Trajtenberg (2002), the NIH, and the NSF. After adjusting for time lag, the performed regressions support the stated hypothesis and resulted in significant coefficients. This paper will also evaluate the economic aspect of medical research and determine the effect of knowledge spillover from medical institutions to nearby private inventors. Ultimately, this may allow for more precise institutional and geographical allocation of research investments for the purpose of achieving more medical innovations, thus advancing the field of medicine as a whole.