Try, Try Again? Gender Differences in Self-Assessment and Evaluation of Innovation in the NASA SBIR program

47 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2021

See all articles by Isabel Hanewicz

Isabel Hanewicz

University of Southern California

Andrea Belz

University of Southern California - Viterbi School of Engineering

Alexandra Graddy-Reed

Sol Price School of Public Policy University of Southern California

Richard Terrile

Government of the United States of America - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Date Written: November 29, 2020

Abstract

Gender differences in innovation financing are well documented but poorly understood. We study applicants to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Small Business Innovation Research program, an initiative seeking to increase access for women. Suggesting that underlying confidence disparities affect the selection process for female proposers, we find that: (1) prior application experience and a patenting history predict selection, but only for males; (2) females develop earlier-stage technologies, and highly qualified women underestimate their projects’ technical maturity; and (3) highly qualified female applicants receive a boost in a selection indicator in the first funding phase, but the average pool of women scores lower in the second phase - which we name a “Mattea” effect. These results impact diversity in innovation.

Keywords: Innovation, R &D Funding, Gender, SBIR, NASA, Technology Readiness

JEL Classification: H5, J16, O3, O32

Suggested Citation

Hanewicz, Isabel and Belz, Andrea and Graddy-Reed, Alexandra and Terrile, Richard, Try, Try Again? Gender Differences in Self-Assessment and Evaluation of Innovation in the NASA SBIR program (November 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3746733 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3746733

Isabel Hanewicz

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Andrea Belz (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Viterbi School of Engineering ( email )

3650 McClintock Ave
Los Angeles, CA
United States
2138210829 (Phone)

Alexandra Graddy-Reed

Sol Price School of Public Policy University of Southern California ( email )

Lewis Hall 312
Los Angeles, CA 90089-062
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.graddyreed.com

Richard Terrile

Government of the United States of America - Jet Propulsion Laboratory ( email )

Pasadena, CA
United States

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