The Return to Independent Invention: Evidence of Unrealistic Optimism, Risk Seeking or Skewness Loving?
Examining a sample of 1,091 inventions I investigate the magnitude and distribution of the pretax internal rate of return (IRR) to inventive activity. The average IRR on a portfolio investment in these inventions is 11.4%. This is higher than the risk--free rate but lower than the long--run return on high--risk securities and the long--run return on early--stage venture capital funds. The portfolio IRR is significantly higher, for some ex ante identifiable classes of inventions. The distribution of return is skew: only between 7--9% reach the market. Of the 75 inventions that did, six realised returns above 1400%, 60% obtained negative returns and the median was negative. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2003.
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Volume (Year): 113 (2003)
Issue (Month): 484 (January)
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