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Does Founders’ Human Capital Matter for Innovation? Evidence from Japanese Start-ups

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

Using a sample from an original questionnaire survey in Japan, this paper explores whether and how founders’ human capital affects innovation outcomes by start-ups. The results provide evidence that founders with greater human capital are more likely to yield innovation outcome. However, because certain types of founders’ human capital may boost R&D investment, which possibly results in innovation outcomes, we estimate the determinants of innovation outcomes by an instrumental variable probit model taking into account the endogeneity of R&D investment. Our findings suggest that specific human capital for innovation, such as founders’ prior innovation experience, is directly associated with innovation outcomes after start-up, while generic human capital, such as founders’ educational background, indirectly affects innovation outcomes through R&D investment.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/22046/1/wp2011-11.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series CEI Working Paper Series with number 2011-11.

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Length: 25, 12 p.
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2011-11
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  1. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
  2. Colombo, Massimo G. & Delmastro, Marco & Grilli, Luca, 2004. "Entrepreneurs' human capital and the start-up size of new technology-based firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1183-1211, November.
  3. Cressy, Robert, 1996. "Are Business Startups Debt-Rationed?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1253-70, September.
  4. Audretsch, David B. & Keilbach, Max C. & Lehmann, Erik E., 2006. "Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195183511, March.
  5. Zoltan Acs & David Audretsch, 1990. "Innovation and Small Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011131, June.
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