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Opening up military innovation: causal effects of 'bottom-up' reforms to US defense research

Van Reenen, John ORCID: 0000-0001-9153-2907, Howell, Sabrina T., Rathje, Jason and Wong, Jun (2021) Opening up military innovation: causal effects of 'bottom-up' reforms to US defense research. CEP Discussion Papers (1760). Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, London, UK.

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Abstract

Organizations investing in R&D must decide whether to solicit specific technologies or allow innovators to suggest ideas. Using administrative data, we study the “Open” reform to U.S. Air Force R&D procurement, which invited firms to suggest any new potentially useful technology. The new program was run simultaneously with the traditional top-down “Conventional” program. Our regression discontinuity design offers the first causal evaluation of a defense R&D program. We document benefits from winning an Open award for VC funding, military technology, and innovation, and no benefits from Conventional, which instead fosters incumbency. The bottom-up approach appears to help explain Open’s success.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/discussion...
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O31 - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O38 - Government Policy
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H56 - National Security and War
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H57 - Procurement
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2022 12:21
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2022 12:21
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/114430

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