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Why Entrepreneurs Choose Risky R&D Projects – But Still Not Risky Enough

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  • Erika Färnstrand Damsgaard
  • Per Hjertstrand
  • Pehr‐Johan Norbäck
  • Lars Persson
  • Helder Vasconcelos

Abstract

This article examines how entrepreneurs and incumbents differ in their R&D strategies. We show that entrepreneurs have incentives to choose projects with a higher risk and a higher potential in order to reduce expected entry costs. If products are not too differentiated, entrepreneurs will select projects that are too safe from a social point of view, since they do not internalise the business stealing effect on incumbents. Entry support induces entrepreneurs to choose safer projects, whereas R&D support encourages entrepreneurship without affecting the type of entrepreneurship.

Suggested Citation

  • Erika Färnstrand Damsgaard & Per Hjertstrand & Pehr‐Johan Norbäck & Lars Persson & Helder Vasconcelos, 2017. "Why Entrepreneurs Choose Risky R&D Projects – But Still Not Risky Enough," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(605), pages 164-199, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:605:p:f164-f199
    DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12470
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    Cited by:

    1. Heyman, Fredrik & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars & Andersson, Fredrik, 2019. "Has the Swedish business sector become more entrepreneurial than the US business sector?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(7), pages 1809-1822.
    2. Montserrat Manzaneque & Alfonso A. Rojo-Ramírez & Julio Diéguez-Soto & Maria J. Martínez-Romero, 2020. "How negative aspiration performance gaps affect innovation efficiency," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 209-233, January.
    3. Kärnä, Anders & Karlsson, Johan & Engberg, Erik & Svensson, Peter, 2020. "Political Failure: A Missing Piece in Innovation Policy Analysis," Working Paper Series 1334, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 21 Apr 2022.
    4. Andersson, Fredrik W. & Jordahl, Henrik & Kärnä, Anders, 2021. "Ballooning Bureaucracy: Tracking the Growth of High-Skilled Administration within Swedish Higher Education," Working Paper Series 1399, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    5. Chunhuan Xiao & Ziyin Zhuang, 2022. "Do R&D Tax Credits Incentivize Radical or Incremental Innovation? Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(14), pages 1-17, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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