High-tech firms are built much more on the intellectual capital of key personnel than on physical assets, and firms built around the best scientists are most likely to be successful in commercializing breakthrough technologies. As a result, such firms are expected to have higher market values than similar firms less well endowed. In this paper we develop and implement an option-pricing based technique for valuing these and similar intangible assets by examining the effect of ties to star scientists on the market value of new biotech firms. Since firms with more star ties are likely to have a greater probability per unit time of making a commercially valurable R&D breakthrough, we argue and confirm empirically that both the value of the firm and the likelihood of jumps in the value are i...
The research activities of the NBER are funded by grants from federal research agencies, by private foundations, and by generous donations from our corporate associates and from private individuals. The NBER is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. For information on supporting the NBER, please contact:
Mr. Denis Healy, Director of Development
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138-5398