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Entrepreneurial Spillovers from Corporate R&D


  • Tania Babina
  • Sabrina T. Howell


This paper studies how corporate research and development (R&D) investment affects labor mobility. We use employer-employee matched data in ordinary least squares and instrumental variables analyses to assess four hypotheses. R&D has no effect on worker retention, exit from employment, or mobility to incumbent firms. Instead, it increases employee departures to entrepreneurship, leading employees to join the founding teams of startups that are venture capital-backed, high tech, high wage, and in different sectors than the parent firm. These high-growth, high-risk startups emerging from R&D benefit from a focused, standalone incentive structure and have poor complementarities to the parent firm’s assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Tania Babina & Sabrina T. Howell, 2018. "Entrepreneurial Spillovers from Corporate R&D," NBER Working Papers 25360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25360
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    Cited by:

    1. Crowley, Frank & Jordan, Declan, 2018. "The trade-off between absorptive capacity and appropriability of the returns to innovation effort," SRERC Working Paper Series SRERCWP2018-2, University College Cork (UCC), Spatial and Regional Economic Research Centre (SRERC).
    2. repec:spr:anresc:v:61:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00168-018-0888-z is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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