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Internal R&D and External Knowledge Acquisition of Start-up Firms: Exploring the Role of Entrepreneurial Human Capital

Masatoshi Kato

No 145, Discussion Paper Series from School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University

Abstract: This study explores internal research and development (R&D) and external knowledge acquisition of firms during the start-up period, using panel data from original questionnaire surveys conducted in Japan. In particular, the study highlights the role of entrepreneurial human capital in the adoption of internal R&D and external knowledge acquisition strategies (licensing-in and joint R&D). Based on estimates of a bivariate probit model, the analysis provides evidence that firms managed by entrepreneurs with a high level of human capital are more likely to engage both in internal R&D and external knowledge acquisition. More specifically, while generic human capital, such as educational attainment, plays a significant role in explaining internal R&D, specific human capital, such as prior work experience in a related field or innovation experience, tends to have a prominent influence on external knowledge acquisition. As a supplementary analysis, the effectiveness of internal R&D and external knowledge acquisition strategies is assessed by examining the link with innovation outcomes (product innovations and patent applications). The results suggest that the two innovation strategies have positive effects on innovation outcomes.

Keywords: Start-up; entrepreneur; internal R&D; external knowledge acquisition; generic human capital; specific human capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L26 M13 O32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2016-07, Revised 2016-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-ent, nep-ger, nep-ino, nep-knm, nep-sbm and nep-tid
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