recent research

Recent Research: Do Jobs Follow People, or People Follow Jobs?

When General Electric (GE) announced earlier this month that it was moving to downtown Boston’s Seaport District, significant attention was paid to the generous incentive package handed to the company by Massachusetts. Ultimately, however, it was the human capital and innovative talent in the city that lured GE, according to the Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt’s comments announcing the move. While conventional thinking suggests that attracting new businesses is a path to population and economic growth, new research suggests that this may not be the case. 

Prize Competitions: Effective Strategy to Spur Innovation?

In September 2010, the Obama administration launched– an online portal for federal agencies to engage the public to offer solutions that address issues of national priority in return for monetary and non-monetary prizes. Since its launch in 2010, more than 80 federal agencies have run nearly 500 competitions and awarded upwards of $150 million in prizes. is one of the most well-known examples of this growing trend in government and foundation funding. In addition to, U.S. states, local governments, and foundations have announced similar prize competitions to help address important societal and S&T issues.

Recent Research: Learning Entrepreneurship from Other Entrepreneurs?

Around the world, entrepreneurship education continues to permeate schools, nonprofits, economic development organizations, and college campuses. At the root of this momentum is a belief that entrepreneurship can be taught to anybody, regardless of their innate skills. This Recent Research article presents new conclusions that suggest individuals can learn entrepreneurship by being exposed to other entrepreneurs. In other words, both nature and nurture contribute to the likelihood one becomes an entrepreneur.

Academics Weigh the Benefits of Bank, VC Financing for Startups

Bank or venture capital (VC) financing? This is one of the toughest questions that aspiring entrepreneurs and small firms must answer. A recent academic study contends that VC financing may be the superior financing structure for early stage capital. However, several other studies contend that both bank and VC financing can help create and grow successful startups. For potential entrepreneurs, each provides strengths and weaknesses that are highlighted in the studies.

Recent Research: Best Practices in Rural Economic Development

Across the globe, the proliferation of innovation-led economic development is typically viewed in an urban context. Despite cities receiving the bulk of the attention, researchers have begun to focus on how to leverage best practices in rural economic development. Just as is the case in nearly all economic development scenarios, practitioners and policymakers working in rural areas benefit from a better understanding of local strengths and opportunities, according to new research from the United States, Canada, and the European Union.

Recent Research: Special Journal of Labor Economics Volume Emphasizes High-Skilled Immigrants

Although immigrants account for approximately one-fourth of U.S. science and engineering (S&E) employment, there have been relatively few academic studies published that discuss the link between these immigrants, who represent an increasing share of the U.S. workforce, and innovation in the United States. Through a broad investment from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, guest editors William Kerr and Sarah Turner curated a special volume of the Journal of Labor Economics to highlight recent research specifically focused on the impacts of high-skilled immigration.

Recent Research: University Culture, IP Policy, TTOs Play Vital Role Increasing Patenting Activity by Female Academics

Over the past 40 years, the number of women across the globe filing patents has risen fastest within academia compared to all other sectors of the innovation economy, according to a new study from researchers at Indiana University (IU). The researchers found that the overall percentage of patents with women's names attached rose from an average of 2 percent to 3 percent across all areas in 1976 to 18 percent in 2013 for female academics. In comparison, the overall percentage of patents with women's names attached grew to 10 percent in industry and 12 percent for individuals. The study tracked female patent filers across 185 countries, all of whom filed their patents with the U.S. patent office.

‘Joiners’ Share Similar Traits With Startup Founders, Increase Likelihood of Success

In recent years, academic researchers have focused on trying to identify the characteristics that could make someone a potentially successful founder of a startup. However, there has been limited research on the characteristic of the individuals who join these founders as early employees to help them develop and commercialize innovative new products and services. These “joiners” are skilled laborers who want to work for tech startups, but don’t want to be founders – mostly because they are less interested in management and more interested in technical roles. Two studies have been released that look at the characteristics of joiners and the role they play in a startup’s success.

Recent Research: What Kinds of Publicly Funded R&D Projects Fail?

SBIR projects are less likely to fail if research teams are smaller, have more experience and include women investigators, according to a new working paper by Albert N. Link and Mike Wright. The authors also found that larger SBIR awards lower the chances that a project will be discontinued before completion. While the study focuses on projects supported through federal SBIR programs, the findings could have implications for other kinds of public R&D support.

R&D Tax Credits Increase Resiliency of R&D-Intensive Firms

As the federal and state governments look for methods to support the creation and retention of well-paying science and tech (S&T) and manufacturing jobs, two recent reports have found that R&D tax credits play a vital role in helping keep domestic R&D-intensive firms resilient from economic downtowns and competition from emerging economics. These studies confirm the importance of R&D-intensive firms, which have taken advantage of R&D tax credits, are more likely to report a higher percentage of corporate liquidity; are less likely to cut capital expenditures and employment; and, downsize considerably less than the average firm.


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