American universities today serve as economic engines, performing the scientific research that will create new industries, drive economic growth, and keep the United States globally competitive. But only a few decades ago, these same universities self-consciously held themselves apart from the world of commerce. Creating the Market University is the first book to systematically examine why academic science made such a dramatic move toward the market. Drawing on extensive historical research, Elizabeth Popp Berman shows how the government—influenced by the argument that innovation drives the economy—brought about this transformation.
Americans have a long tradition of making heroes out of their inventors. But before the 1960s and ’70s neither policymakers nor economists paid much attention to the critical economic role played by innovation. However, during the late 1970s, a confluence of events—industry concern with the perceived deterioration of innovation in the United States, a growing body of economic research on innovation’s importance, and the stagnation of the larger economy—led to a broad political interest in fostering invention. The policy decisions shaped by this change were diverse, influencing arenas from patents and taxes to pensions and science policy, and encouraged practices that would focus specifically on the economic value of academic science. By the early 1980s, universities were nurturing the rapid growth of areas such as biotech entrepreneurship, patenting, and university-industry research centers.
Contributing to debates about the relationship between universities, government, and industry, Creating the Market University sheds light on how knowledge and politics intersect to structure the economy.
Awards and Recognition
- Winner of the 2013 Max Weber Book Award, Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section of the American Sociological Association
- Winner of the 2013 Pierre Bourdieu Award for Best Book, Sociology of Education Section of the American Sociological Association
- Winner of the 2011 President's Book Award, Social Science History Association
Elizabeth Popp Berman is assistant professor of sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York.
"Creating the Market University succeeds in providing detailed, on-the-ground descriptions of the diverse decisions and events that worked together to create what amounts to a new social compact with academic science. . . . [T]his is a valuable work that offers significant insights into how science in the academy arrived at where it is today."—John Rudolph, Journal of American History
"This volume provides the most thorough and balanced account of the advent of commercialization in academic science and its underlying causes."—Roger L. Geige, American Historical Review
"This is a great book for wonks. On page after page, data regarding academia, high-tech innovation and entrepreneurship stand up, and shout for attention."—Stephen B. Adams, Enterprise & Society
"For those interested in the politics and ideologies lying behind universities and science policy, this volume makes a thought-provoking and original contribution. . . . [I]t deserves to be widely read amongst those studying the relationships between universities, governments and industry."—Paul Benneworth, Minerva
"This is a well-written and meticulously researched book that can be recommended to everyone interested in science and technology policy. Berman's thesis that the late 1970s and early 1980s were a turning point in American R&D policy is provocative and worthy of debate."—Martin Kenney, Technology & Culture
"Many scholars have opined about the new entrepreneurial university, but few have carefully and analytically explored its historical origins. Elizabeth Popp Berman masterfully charts the roads traveled from the ivory tower to the market, and brilliantly illuminates how political choices and financial forces shaped the process that now celebrates universities as engines of economic development."—Walter W. Powell, Stanford University
"Much of the scholarship on university-industry relations, or more broadly the commercialization of the university, is ahistorical. Creating the Market University not only shows variations across time in the array of university-industry relations experimented with, but it makes a nuanced historical argument to explain their success in the 1980s. Sound and exciting, this book is a pleasure to read."—Daniel Kleinman, University of Wisconsin—Madison
"Extending arguments and evidence in economics, sociology, education, management, and technology policy, Creating the Market University provides a sophisticated and compelling account of how academic scientists, and the universities within which they are embedded, increasingly embraced a market logic that valorizes patenting and technology commercialization. Elizabeth Popp Berman demonstrates the importance of understanding how scientific and technological innovation at universities serves as an engine of economic growth."—Michael Lounsbury, University of Alberta