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R&D financing of start-up firms : How much does founders' human capital matter?


  • Honjo, Yuji
  • Kato, Masatoshi
  • Okamuro, Hiroyuki


This paper explores research and development (R&D) financing of start-up firms. Using a sample from an original survey conducted in 2008, we identify whether initial funds and founder-specific characteristics relate to R&D investment of start-up firms in Japan. It is found that internal finance is positively associated with R&D investment. It is also found that founders with higher educational background, prior innovation output and academic affiliation tend to raise more funds for R&D. On the other hand, we provide evidence that the effects of founders' human capital are mediated by investment opportunities, which would indicate that R&D investment of start-up firms depends heavily on investment opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Honjo, Yuji & Kato, Masatoshi & Okamuro, Hiroyuki, 2010. "R&D financing of start-up firms : How much does founders' human capital matter?," CEI Working Paper Series 2009-15, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2009-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Morris M. Kleiner & Alan B. Krueger, 2013. "Analyzing the Extent and Influence of Occupational Licensing on the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(S1), pages 173-202.
    2. Michael Dueker & Ada Jacox & David Kalist & Stephen Spurr, 2005. "The Practice Boundaries of Advanced Practice Nurses: An Economic and Legal Analysis," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 309-330, January.
    3. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Inequality and the Organization of Knowledge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 197-202, May.
    4. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. OKAMURO, Hiroyuki & KATO, Masatoshi, 2015. "Determinants of Quantitative and Qualitative Employment Growth: A Comparison between R&D-oriented and Other Start-ups in Japan," CCES Discussion Paper Series 62, Center for Research on Contemporary Economic Systems, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item


    Founder; Human capital; Internal finance; R&D; Start-up;

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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