Government as entrepreneur: Evaluating the commercialization success of SBIR projects
Thinking of government as entrepreneur is a unique lens through which to view a subset of government actions. The lens is not a template for an evaluation of government policy; rather, it is a characterization that underscores the government's purposeful intent, ability to act in new and innovative ways, and willingness to undertake policy actions that have uncertain outcomes. Our focus is on the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. We argue that the innovative action of government - the innovative use of public resources through the SBIR program to target and support research in small firms - does lessen innovation barriers that cause small firms to underinvest in R&D. However, this government action is subject to entrepreneurial risk, namely the a priori uncertainty that the funded research will result in a commercialized product, process, or service. We quantify the uncertainty that the government accepts in the context of innovation supported by the SBIR program; or stated alternatively, we quantify the probability that a project funded by the SBIR program will fail to commercialize its results. Our empirical results show that the entrepreneurial risk that characterizes the SBIR program is, on average, somewhat more than the probability of failing to get heads on the toss of a fair coin. Importantly, however, our evidence shows that there is a large range in the entrepreneurial risk that the government accepts--across the projects, the predicted probability of failure covers essentially the entire range from 0 to 1.0.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- David B. Audretsch & Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2013.
"Public/private technology partnerships: evaluating SBIR-supported research,"
in: Public Support of Innovation in Entrepreneurial Firms, chapter 5, pages 91-104
Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Audretsch, David B. & Link, Albert N. & Scott, John T., 2002. "Public/private technology partnerships: evaluating SBIR-supported research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 145-158, January.
- Albert Link & Christopher Ruhm, 2009.
"Bringing science to market: commercializing from NIH SBIR awards,"
Economics of Innovation and New Technology,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 381-402.
- Albert N. Link & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2013. "Bringing science to market:commercializing from NIH SBIR awards," Chapters, in: Public Support of Innovation in Entrepreneurial Firms, chapter 1, pages 3-24 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Albert N. Link & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2008. "Bringing Science to Market: Commercializing from NIH SBIR Awards," NBER Working Papers 14057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baumol William J. & Litan Robert E & Schramm Carl J, 2007. "Sustaining Entrepreneurial Capitalism," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-38, November.
- Link, Albert N. & Scott, John T., 2001. "Public/private partnerships: stimulating competition in a dynamic market," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 763-794, April.
- Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2009.
"Private Investor Participation and Commercialization Rates for Government-sponsored Research and Development: Would a Prediction Market Improve the Performance of the SBIR Programme?,"
London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 264-281, 04.
- Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2013. "Private Investor Participation and Commercialization Rates for Government-sponsored Research and Development: Would a Prediction Market Improve the Performance of the SBIR Programme?," Chapters, in: Public Support of Innovation in Entrepreneurial Firms, chapter 11, pages 157-174 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Albert Link, 1999. "Public/Private Partnerships In The United States," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 191-217.
- Gregory Tassey, 2005. "Underinvestment in Public Good Technologies," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 89-113, 01.
- Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:5:p:589-601. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.