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Private Equity and the Innovation Strategies of Entrepreneurial Firms: Empirical Evidence from the Small Business Innovation Research Program

  • Albert N. Link
  • Christopher J. Ruhm
  • Donald S. Siegel

There is great interest in evaluating the impact of private equity investments on innovation and economic growth. However, there is no direct empirical evidence on the effects of such transactions on the innovation strategies of entrepreneurial firms. We fill this gap by examining a rich project-level data set consisting of entrepreneurial firms receiving Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program research awards. We find that SBIR firms attracting private equity investments are significantly more likely to license and sell their technology rights and engage in collaborative research and development agreements. Our results suggest that private equity investments accelerate the development and commercialization of research-based technologies, thus contributing to economic growth. We conclude that both public investments and private investments are key to innovation performance.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18297.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Publication status: published as Peter Klein & Donald Siegel & Nick Wilson & Mike Wright & Albert N. Link & Christopher J. Ruhm & Donald S. Siegel, 2014. "Private Equity and the Innovation Strategies of Entrepreneurial Firms: Empirical Evidence from the Small Business Innovation Research Program," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(2), pages 103-113, 03.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18297
Note: HC IO PE PR
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  1. Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2013. "Employment growth from public support of innovation in small firms," Chapters, in: Public Support of Innovation in Entrepreneurial Firms, chapter 3, pages 41-64 Edward Elgar.
  2. Albert Link & Christopher Ruhm, 2009. "Bringing science to market: commercializing from NIH SBIR awards," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 381-402.
  3. Steven Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Josh Lerner & Javier Miranda, 2008. "Private Equity and Employment," Working Papers 08-07r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Oct 2011.
  4. Lichtenberg, Frank R. & Siegel, Donald, 1990. "The effects of leveraged buyouts on productivity and related aspects of firm behavior," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 165-194, September.
  5. Dora Gicheva & Albert Link, 2013. "Leveraging entrepreneurship through private investments: does gender matter?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 199-210, February.
  6. Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2013. "Governments as entrepreneur: Evaluating the commercialization success of SBIR projects," Chapters, in: Public Support of Innovation in Entrepreneurial Firms, chapter 2, pages 25-38 Edward Elgar.
  7. Wright, Mike & Thompson, Steve & Robbie, Ken, 1992. "Venture capital and management-led, leveraged buy-outs: A European perspective," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 47-71, January.
  8. Albert N. Link & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2013. "Public knowledge, private knowledge: the intellectual capital of entrepreneurs," Chapters, in: Public Support of Innovation in Entrepreneurial Firms, chapter 7, pages 113-126 Edward Elgar.
  9. Richard Harris & Donald S. Siegel & Mike Wright, 2003. "Assessing the Impact of Management Buyouts on Economic Efficiency: Plant-Level Evidence from the United Kingdom," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0304, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  10. Albert Link & John Scott, 2012. "The exploitation of publicly funded technology," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 375-383, June.
  11. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Kyle Handley & Ron Jarmin & Josh Lerner & Javier Miranda, 2014. "Private Equity, Jobs, and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(12), pages 3956-90, December.
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