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Patents as Signals for Startup Financing

Listed author(s):
  • Annamaria Conti
  • Jerry Thursby
  • Marie C. Thursby

We examine the role of patents as signals used to reduce information asymmetries in entrepreneurial finance. A theoretical model gives conditions for a unique separating equilibrium in which startup founders file for patents to signal invention quality to investors, as well as appropriating value. The theory allows for heterogeneous investors and examine the optimal match of different types of startups, as defined by the quality of their technology, to investors who differ in the amount of non financial capital they provide. The empirical analysis is consistent with the model's predictions using a novel dataset of Israeli startups that received external funding during the period 1994-2011.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19191.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19191.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
Publication status: published as Patents as Signals for Startup Financing† Annamaria Conti1, Jerry Thursby1 andMarie Thursby2 The Journal of Industrial Economics Special Issue: SYMPOSIUM ON PATENTS, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION. Edited by Mark Schankerman Volume 61, Issue 3, pages 592–622, September 2013
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19191
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  1. Annamaria Conti & Marie Thursby & Frank T. Rothaermel, 2013. "Show Me the Right Stuff: Signals for High-Tech Startups," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(2), pages 341-364, June.
  2. Bottazzi, Laura & Da Rin, Marco & Hellmann, Thomas, 2008. "Who are the active investors?: Evidence from venture capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 488-512, September.
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  5. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-685, May.
  6. Mark Grinblatt & Chuan Yang Hwang, "undated". "Signalling and the Pricing of Unseasoned New Issues," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 1-89, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  7. Stephen A. Ross, 1977. "The Determination of Financial Structure: The Incentive-Signalling Approach," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 23-40, Spring.
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  9. Thomas Hellmann & Manju Puri, 2002. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-Up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 169-197, February.
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  11. Thomas Hellmann & Laura Lindsey & Manju Puri, 2008. "Building Relationships Early: Banks in Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 513-541, April.
  12. Leland, Hayne E & Pyle, David H, 1977. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 371-387, May.
  13. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Samuel Kortum & Josh Lerner, 2000. "Assessing the Contribution of Venture Capital to Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 674-692, Winter.
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  17. Joshua S. Gans & David H. Hsu & Scott Stern, 2002. "When Does Start-Up Innovation Spur the Gale of Creative Destruction?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 571-586, Winter.
  18. Manuel Trajtenberg, 2000. "R&D Policy in Israel: An Overview and Reassessment," NBER Working Papers 7930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Haeussler, Caroline & Harhoff, Dietmar & Müller, Elisabeth, 2009. "To Be Financed or Not... - The Role of Patents for Venture Capital Financing," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 253, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  20. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-318, March.
  21. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1983. "Uncertain Innovation and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 741-748, September.
  22. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
  23. Mayston, David, 2009. "The determinants of cumulative endogeneity bias in multivariate analysis," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 100(6), pages 1120-1136, July.
  24. Horstmann, Ignatius & MacDonald, Glenn M & Slivinski, Alan, 1985. "Patents as Information Transfer Mechanisms: To Patent or (Maybe) Not to Patent," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 837-858, October.
  25. Sudipto Bhattacharya, 1979. "Imperfect Information, Dividend Policy, and "The Bird in the Hand" Fallacy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 259-270, Spring.
  26. Denis, David J., 2004. "Entrepreneurial finance: an overview of the issues and evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 301-326, March.
  27. Grinblatt, Mark & Hwang, Chuan Yang, 1989. " Signalling and the Pricing of New Issues," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 393-420, June.
  28. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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