This paper analyses the sources of persistence in conducting R&D activities by SMEs. The data used are a panel of Spanish manufacturing firms drawn from the Survey of Business Strategies, for the period 1990–2011. We estimate discrete time proportional hazard models accounting for firm observed and unobserved heterogeneity. Our results are consistent with a process of learning associated with the accumulation of R&D capital and with a self-sustained effect of engagement in R&D activities. In addition, we obtain that persistence in R&D in SMEs is also related to the success-breeds-success, sunk costs and demand-pull hypotheses. Finally, our findings also uncover some interesting differences in the underlying drivers of R&D persistence of SMEs as compared to their larger counterparts.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 21, 2014
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