State Governments as Financiers of Technology Startups: Implications for Firm Performance

42 Pages Posted: 16 May 2012 Last revised: 7 Dec 2015

Bo Zhao

University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics

Rosemarie Ham Ziedonis

Boston University Questrom School of Business

Date Written: July 2012

Abstract

U.S. state governments are active financiers of new science and technology companies. Yet little is known about the effects of state R&D funding on the performance of recipient ventures. This study provides new evidence based on competitive R&D awards administered by the state of Michigan from 2002 through 2008. We find strong and compelling evidence that state R&D awards enhanced the commercial viability (i.e., survival) of recipient firms, suggesting a relaxation of financial constraints. Among firms with scores near the discontinuous funding threshold, our estimates suggest that awardees were 15% to 25% more likely to survive three years after the competition than otherwise comparable applicants that sought but failed to receive an award. We also find that receipt of state R&D funding enhanced the follow-on financing for these new ventures, but only for those with more onerous information challenges in entrepreneurial capital markets.

Keywords: innovation, government R&D programs, entrepreneurial finance, regression discontinuity design

JEL Classification: G28, M13, O32

Suggested Citation

Zhao, Bo and Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, State Governments as Financiers of Technology Startups: Implications for Firm Performance (July 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2060739 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2060739

Bo Zhao (Contact Author)

University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
China

Rosemarie Ham Ziedonis

Boston University Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

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