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Complements or substitutes? The role of universities and local context in supporting the creation of academic spin-offs

  • Fini, Riccardo
  • Grimaldi, Rosa
  • Santoni, Simone
  • Sobrero, Maurizio

In this paper, we analyze the extent to which University-Level Support Mechanisms (ULSMs) and Local-Context Support Mechanisms (LCSMs) complement or substitute for each other in fostering the creation of academic spin-offs. Using a sample of 404 companies spun off from the 64 Italian Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics universities (STEM universities) over the 2000-2007 period, we show that the ULSMs' marginal effect on universities' spin-off productivity may be positive or negative depending on the contribution offered by different LCSMs. Specifically, in any given region, ULSMs complement the legislative support offered to high-tech entrepreneurship whereas they have a substitution effect with regard to the amount of regional social capital, regional financial development, the presence of a regional business incubator, regional public R&D expenses as well as the level of innovative performance in the region. Results support the idea that regional settings' idiosyncrasies should be considered for universities to develop effective spin-off support policies. This paper contributes to the debate on the evaluation of economic policies supporting entrepreneurship.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 40 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (October)
Pages: 1113-1127

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:8:p:1113-1127
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