Spin-offs and the market for ideas
The authors propose a theory of firm dynamics in which workers have ideas for new projects that can be sold in a market to existing firms or implemented in new firms: spin-offs. Workers have private information about the quality of their ideas. Because of an adverse selection problem, workers can sell their ideas to existing firms only at a price that is not contingent on their information. The authors show that the option to spin off in the future is valuable so only workers with very good ideas decide to spin off and set up a new firm. Since entrepreneurs of existing firms pay a price for the ideas sold in the market that implies zero expected profits for them, firms’ project selection is independent of their size, which, under some assumptions, leads to scale-independent growth. The entry and growth process of firms in this economy leads to an invariant distribution that resembles the one in the U.S. economy.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1995. "Start-ups, Spin-offs, and Internal Projects," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 362-78, October.
- Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2008.
"On the mechanics of firm growth,"
657, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2002.
"Innovating firms and aggregate innovation,"
300, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Klette, Tor Jakob & Kortum, Samuel S, 2002. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Klette, Tor Jakob & Kortum, Samuel, 2002. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Memorandum 02/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," NBER Working Papers 8819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:oup:restud:v:62:y:1995:i:1:p:53-82 is not listed on IDEAS
- Robert E. Hall & Susan E. Woodward, 2007. "The Incentives to Start New Companies: Evidence from Venture Capital," NBER Working Papers 13056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- April Franco & Darren Filson, 2000.
"Knowledge diffusion through employee mobility,"
272, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- repec:oup:restud:v:69:y:2002:i:3:p:513-31 is not listed on IDEAS
- S. Klepper & S. Sleeper, 2002.
"Entry by Spinoffs,"
Papers on Economics and Evolution
2002-07, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
- Peter L. Rousseau & Boyan Jovanovic, 2008. "US Investment 1901-2005: Incumbents, Entrants, and Q," 2008 Meeting Papers 696, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2006.
"Establishment size dynamics in the aggregate economy,"
382, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Establishment Size Dynamics in the Aggregate Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1639-1666, December.
- Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
- Anton, James J & Yao, Dennis A, 1994. "Expropriation and Inventions: Appropriable Rents in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 190-209, March.
- Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
- Xavier Gabaix, 2005.
"The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations,"
2005 Meeting Papers
470, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144.
- Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
- Prusa, Thomas J & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1994. "Can Companies Maintain Their Initial Innovation Thrust? A Study of the PC Software Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 523-40, August.
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