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Opening up military innovation: causal effects of reforms to US defense research

Sabrina T. Howell, Jason Rathje, John van Reenen and Jun Wong

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: For governments procuring innovation, one choice is whether to specify desired products (a "Conventional" approach) or allow firms to suggest ideas (an "Open" approach). Using a U.S. Air Force R&D grant program, where Open and Conventional competitions were held simultaneously, we find that Open awards increase both commercial innovation and technology adoption by the military. In contrast, Conventional awards have no positive technology effects, but do create more program lock-in. The Open program attracts new types of applicants (e.g. start-ups), but openness also has a differential impact beyond inducing selection. These results suggest benefits from open approaches to innovation procurement.

Keywords: innovation; defense; R&D; procurement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H56 H57 O31 O32 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 50 pages
Date: 2021-04-13
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent, nep-ino and nep-ppm
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/114430/ Open access version. (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: Opening up military innovation: causal effects of reforms to U.S. defense research (2021) Downloads
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