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On the Failure of Scientific Research: An Analysis of SBIR Projects Funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health

Martin Andersen (), Jeremy Bray and Albert Link

No 17-2, UNCG Economics Working Papers from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics

Abstract: The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is the primary source of public funding in the United States for research by small firms on new technologies, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a major contributor to that funding agenda. Although previous research has explored the determinants of research success for NIH SBIR projects, little is known about the determinants of project failure. This paper provides important, new evidence on the characteristics of NIH SBIR projects that fail. Specifically, we find that firms that have a founder with a business background are less likely to have their funded projects fail. We also find, after controlling for the endogenous nature of woman-owned firms, that such firms are also less likely to fail.

Keywords: technology; innovation; R&D; small firms; SBIR; NIH (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O31 O32 O33 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 21 pages
Date: 2017-03-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent, nep-hea, nep-ino and nep-ppm
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