Research


Review of the SBIR and STTR Programs at the Department of Energy

April 07, 2020

Since its founding in 1982, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program has become the largest and most comprehensive public research and development funding program of small business research in the United States. An underlying tenet of the SBIR program, and the related Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, is that small and young firms are an important source of new ideas that provide the underlying basis for technological innovation, productivity increases, and subsequent economic growth. By involving qualified small businesses in the nation's research and development efforts, SBIR/STTR grants stimulate the development of innovative technologies and help federal agencies achieve their missions and objectives. More

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

March 05, 2020
Author(s): Maryann Feldman

Description: In pursuit of building prosperous economies, policymakers are increasingly interested in entrepreneurial ecosystems. The concept positions entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial communities as central actors in building the benefits associated with geographic agglomerations. This report presents the concept of ecosystems as a new understanding of how entrepreneurial economies work and how they develop over time. More

Philanthropic support of Higher Education Major Gifts form High Net Worth Individuals

December 13, 2019
Author(s): Emily Nwakpuda, Maryann Feldman

In search of additional sources of revenue, universities and colleges have cultivated individual donors to provide support to academic projects and initiatives. Major gifts (of at least $100,000) from private donors are typically lost in an aggregation of all types of philanthropy, rather than being considered as their own separate category. This chapter provides evidence of the contributions of high net worth individuals to university programs, with a focus on donors’ support of scientific research. More

We Miss you George Bailey: The Effect of Local Banking Conditions on the County-Level Timing of the Great Recession

December 10, 2019
Author(s): Scott Langford, Maryann Feldman

Community banks are the central financial institution in many places. They have the capacity to alleviate credit constraints of small firms. This may increase economic resilience, delaying or mitigating the effects of the Great Recession. We estimate how the county-level banking access and community bank market share affect both the timing and duration of the Great Recession. More

Regional Income Disparities, Monopoly & Finance

October 07, 2019
Author(s): Maryann Feldman

Many of the most prosperous places in the U.S. are hotbeds of technology and also the home bases of companies which exercise monopoly power across much larger territories – nationally, or even globally. This paper makes four arguments about regional income disparities.

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Combine Water, Grain, Hops, Yeast and Get – Jobs

September 22, 2019
Author(s): Allison Lowe-Reed, Scott Langford, Maryann Feldman

How do cities attract mobile firms? The answer, frequently, involves beer. Dr. Maryann Feldman has recently published an editorial describing how cities are increasingly selling themselves on quality of life metrics, talent, and trendy amenities that appeal to young professionals. Responding to Amazon’s HQ2 contest, cities across the country listed breweries among their city’s assets while wooing the technology giant. The article is based on a paper that three of her students wrote under her guidance, and the inspirations for which evolved out of a seminar Dr. Feldman taught on science and technology policy. The article, “Catching the whale: A comparison of place promotion strategies through the lens of Amazon HQ2”, was published in Geography Compass this summer by Scott Langford, Allison Lowe Reed, and Adams Nager. Using text analysis of city responses to the HQ2 contest, the paper argues that regions compete on much more than simply low costs of land and labor or business-friendly environment metrics, as traditional theory would assume. In the News and Observer, Dr. Feldman and her students explain how cities reliance on brews when advertising themselves is evidence of a shift in how cities aim to attract jobs and stay competitive. More

Catching the whale: A comparison of place promotion strategies through the lens of Amazon HQ2

July 17, 2019
Author(s): Allison Lowe-Reed, Scott Langford

Identifying potential sites for firm relocation or expansion is a negotiated process that involves both firms and localities. Some firms focus on profit enhancement through cost minimization, while others seek qualities that maximize talent attraction and benefit corporate identity. Simultaneously, localities seek to maximize the economic welfare for residents through job creation and place-based economic development strategies. The purpose of this work is to examine how localities use place promotion strategies to attract relocating or expanding firms based on analysis of proposals submitted by communities in response to the 2017 Amazon HQ2 Request for Proposals. Our results support literature streams that argue quality of life and talent attraction, as well as cost are priorities for place-based economic development strategies. We present a complete picture of place promotion strategies that localities use to differentiate themselves and avoid competing only on cost in the competitive marketplace of corporate recruiting. More

The tortoise, the hare, and the hybrid: effects of prior employment on the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem

July 01, 2019
Author(s): Allison Forbes, Mary Donegan, Nichola Lowe, Paige Clayton, Alyse Polly, Maryann Feldman

Prior employment imprints nascent entrepreneurs with logics for organizing startups. Within a regional ecosystem, entrepreneurs with different employment backgrounds pursue alternative entrepreneurial pathways, each generating distinct, though complementary, regional impacts. By analyzing diverse pre-entrepreneurial employment experiences, no one pathway leads to superior firm performance; prior industry experience generates strong early performance that tapers off, while prior academic experience engenders slow, steady, long-lasting growth. Our approach is well-suited for theorizing ecosystem development and generating policy recommendations in support of ecosystem diversity. More

The Future of Emerging Markets: A Development Marathon, not a Growth Sprint

June 01, 2019
Author(s): Maryann Feldman

IN THIS PAPER, we share the views of Maryann Feldman and Dáire Dunne on what they see as key drivers of structural change in emerging markets (EM) economies. In particular, we examine how the actions of policy makers, private companies and individual citizens can drive economic progress, influence financial markets and create investment opportunities over time. More

Toward understanding the impact of artificial intelligence on labor

April 02, 2019
Author(s): Hyejin Youn, Iyad Rahwan, Esteban Moroa, Dashun Wang, Matthew Groh, Jose Lobo, Manuel Cebriana, David J. Deming, James E. Bessen, Erik Brynjolfsson, Morgan R. Frank, David Autor, Maryann Feldman

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and automation technologies have the potential to significantly disrupt labor markets. While AI and automation can augment the productivity of some workers, they can replace the work done by others and will likely transform almost all occupations at least to some degree. Rising automation is happening in a period of growing economic inequality, raising fears of mass technological unemployment and a renewed call for policy efforts to address the consequences of technological change. In this paper we discuss the barriers that inhibit scientists from measuring the effects of AI and automation on the future of work. These barriers include the lack of high-quality data about the nature of work (e.g., the dynamic requirements of occupations), lack of empirically informed models of key microlevel processes (e.g., skill substitution and human–machine complementarity), and insufficient understanding of how cognitive technologies interact with broader economic dynamics and institutional mechanisms (e.g., urban migration and international trade policy). Overcoming these barriers requires improvements in the longitudinal and spatial resolution of data, as well as refinements to data on workplace skills. These improvements will enable multidisciplinary research to quantitatively monitor and predict the complex evolution of work in tandem with technological progress. Finally, given the fundamental uncertainty in predicting technological change, we recommend developing a decision framework that focuses on resilience to unexpected scenarios in addition to general equilibrium behavior. More