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When does funding research by smaller firms bear fruit?: Evidence from the SBIR program

  • Joshua Gans
  • Scott Stern

This paper evaluates whether the relative concentration of funding for small, research-oriented firms in a small number of high-technology industries is related to differences across industries in the appropriability level facing small firms. We exploit a novel test based on the relationship between industry-level private venture financing and the performance of government-subsidized R&D projects. If industries differ in their appropriability level, then private funding and subsidized project performance should be positively correlated. Our principal finding is that subsidized project performance is higher in industrial segments with higher rates of private venture capital investment. Industrial sectors therefore seem to differ in the degree of appropriability and this variation helps explain why venture capital is concentrated. * The latest version of this paper is available at

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 361-384

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:12:y:2003:i:4:p:361-384
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