Small Business Economics

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 513–531 | Cite as

Does easy start-up formation hamper incumbents’ R&D investment?

  • L. Colombo
  • H. Dawid
  • M. Piva
  • M. VivarelliEmail author


This paper investigates the implications that complementary assets needed for the formation of start-ups have on the innovative efforts of incumbent firms. In particular, we highlight a strategic incentive effect by which the innovative efforts of incumbents are decreasing in the availability of the complementary assets needed for the creation of a start-up. Furthermore, we argue that the R&D investments of incumbents are positively related to the presence of policy support to innovation, and to the firm’s endowment of human capital. The empirical relevance of our theoretical hypotheses is investigated—and supported—by using firm level data.


R&D Innovation Start-up Complementary assets 

JEL Classification

O31 L26 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Bielefeld UniversityBielefeldGermany
  3. 3.Università Cattolica del Sacro CuorePiacenzaItaly
  4. 4.UNU-MERITMaastrichtNetherlands
  5. 5.IZABonnGermany

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