Estimation of the Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research Program Treatment Effect

by Thomas R. Edison, Jr.

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The Department of Defense (DOD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program exists primarily to enhance the commercial viability of defense contracts. However, the overall effectiveness of this important program is generally unknown and has received little attention from empirical researchers. Consequently, this study seeks to fill this void through two key contributions. Its first objective is to provide an enhanced evaluation methodology taking advantage of the general availability of current data. Within this general context there are two related research questions: 1) does SBIR positively influence commercial viability? and 2) what is the most effective means of evaluating this important question? The second objective is to provide an estimate of a treatment effect from winning a SBIR contract.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Prior Attempts to Evaluate SBIR

  • Chapter Three

    Entrepreneurial Program Evaluation Literature

  • Chapter Four

    Estimating the Treatment Effect of DOD SBIR Program

  • Chapter Five

    Policy Recommendations and Conclusion

  • Appendix A

    Matching SBIR Coversheet Information to Defense Contract Data

  • Appendix B

    Statistical Model Output

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This document was submitted as a dissertation in August 2010 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Nelson Lim (Chair), Bruce Held, and Somi Seong.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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