Essays in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2013

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation encompasses two chapters, focusing on the formation, operation, innovation, and exit activities of new businesses. In the first chapter, I examine the role of internal and external technological resources in leveraging innovative ideas--with an emphasis on strategic complementarity, intellectual capacity, and survivability of entrepreneurial innovators. The main finding is that startup firms with lower intellectual capacity that use both types of technological resources operate at lower cost efficiency, are less likely to achieve strategic complementarity, and exit at higher rate, in relation to their higher intellectual capacity counterparts. Additionally, selection disproportionately influences the likelihood of attaining strategic complementarity, narrowing the ability gap between innovators with lower and higher intellectual capacity. In the second chapter, I investigate the role of entrepreneurial learning in the inefficient exit of new businesses. The inefficiency is defined as either "too early" or "too late" exit, in relation to the full information benchmark in which knowledge about entrepreneurial ability is obtained without any learning effort. The findings indicate that about a half of all the startup firms exit inefficiently. Of all the inefficient exits, 54% are identified as "too early", while the rest as "too late". Furthermore, of all the "too early" exits, more than 90% should never exit at least for the first six years of operation, and of all the "too late" exits, about 60% should exit by the end of the first year.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Barton Hamilton

Committee Members

George-Levi Gayle, Limor Golan, Roni Kisin, Juan Pantano, Carl Sanders


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