The effect of university and regional knowledge spillovers on firms’ performance: an analysis of the Spanish USOs

  • María Jesús Rodríguez-Gulías
  • David Rodeiro-Pazos
  • Sara Fernández-López


Previous empirical studies of university spin-off (USO) growth have applied a firm-based approach without modelling how contextual factors may influence firm growth. By adopting an ‘interactionist approach’, this paper tests the hypothesis that the regional and university contexts may partly determine USO growth, together with firms’ internal resources. Using a sample of 531 Spanish USOs located in 16 Spanish regions and launched by 51 universities over the 2001–2013 and applying multilevel modelling with macro- and micro-data, the findings confirmed that regional context, together with firm-specific characteristics, are important for explaining USO growth. More specifically, the presence of venture capitalists, the capacity to generate internal funds, and operating in high-tech industries have a positive effect on USO growth. On the basis of the results, we propose some policies for fostering USO growth.


University spin-offs Sales growth Knowledge spillovers Regional effect University effect Multilevel analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Jesús Rodríguez-Gulías
    • 1
  • David Rodeiro-Pazos
    • 2
  • Sara Fernández-López
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Finance and AccountingUniversity of CoruñaA CoruñaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Finance and AccountingUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Finance and AccountingUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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