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Essays on the Entrepreneurial University in China Open Access

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This dissertation aims to provide a comprehensive study about the role of entrepreneurial universities in economy. Focusing the largest developing country - China, from regional-, institutional-, and individual-level, three essays will be presented and trying to help us have better understanding about the transformation of universities in China over the last decade. First chapter focuses on regional entrepreneurial ecosystems and offers a two-stage structural model which distinguishes two sets of factors, those that have direct impact on entrepreneurial activities and those that have indirect impact. Based on the empirical analysis of 263 Chinese cities from 2007 to 2015, the study found that human capital, knowledge creation, access to finance and market are four main factors that drive local entrepreneurial activity. The presence of research-intensive universities has a strong positive impact on regional entrepreneurial ecosystems.Second chapter aims to answer a long-standing question for academic research: does university-industry proximity increase academic output and performance? This paper argues that different types of university-industry (UI) interactions will have different impact on academic research output (academic publication and citation). Based on the empirical analysis of 61 Chinese research-intensive universities from 2009 to 2015, this paper find that contract research commissioned by industry has an inverted U-shaped effect on research output and intellectual property (IPR) transfer has the negative effect on research output. Third chapter looks at entrepreneurial university from the individual perspective and investigate the entrepreneurial activities of returnee academics. Bearing a unique dataset covers the entrepreneurial activities of 507 computer science faculties (138 returnee academics) of 42 research-intensive universities in China from 2007 to 2017, this study provides initial clues about how aboard educational background affect academics’ entrepreneurial activities. The empirical findings have shown that academics’ overseas background has positive effect on academic entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, returnee academics with foreign Ph.D. degrees are more likely to start new business than the returnee academics with only Postdoc experience overseas. Furthermore, the difference in the level of economic development between home and host country has no statistically significant influence on returnee academic entrepreneurial behavior.

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