Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Autumn Semester 2019
Friday, 20.09.2019, 11:15 - 13:00
Friday, 04.10.2019, 11:15 - 13:00
Friday, 29.11.2019, 08:15 - 18:00
Friday, 06.12.2019, 08:15 - 18:00
Friday, 13.12.2019, 08:15 - 13:00
PER 21, room to be confirmed asap
ECTS: 4.5
More information
Course descriptionMoodle 

Seminar description:

This seminar covers several themes within the Economics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Innovation and Entrepreneurship is not a separate subfield in Economics. Rather, it features prominently in various economic fields, such as Industrial Organization, Finance, or even Macroeconomics. This seminar will resemble this variety, and discuss topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship on these fields.

Topics will partly focus on a market view on innovation incentives, which is based on the industrial organization literature in economics. There, the innovative process itself is treated as a Black Box. This is not a strange assumption. Managers of big corporations essentially treat the R&D process as a Black Box when they decide on R&D budgets. They are more concerned with the characteristics of the market in which they want to enter, or from which they want to differentiate themselves through innovation. This involves an understanding of potential sources of market power and profits. In particular, we will discuss how market structure governs firms’ incentives to invest in R&D, the role and consequences of intellectual property protection (through patents, copyrights or trade secrecies) on innovation incentives and outcomes, as well as some economics of open source.

Other topics will deal with organizational and individual determinants of innovation and entrepreneurship. Instead of focusing on the impact of external market forces on innovation and R&D, the organizational view tries to open the black box of the inventive process: Why do we observe innovation clusters? What is the role of peers in entrepreneurship? We will also discuss the role of individual incentives within organizations in fostering innovation. In addition, we discuss the empirical evidence on socio-economic as well as psychological determinants of entrepreneurs.

We will finish the seminar with a discussion of optimal financing contracts for entrepreneurs, such as venture capital contracts or more common debt contracts between firms and banks. Thereby we will review empirical evidence on differences in success and structure of ventures that are financed by VC’s angels or banks.