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Gender and Racial Disparity in the Innovation Process
Lisa D. Cook, Michigan State University and NBER
Mapping the Regions, Organizations & Individuals that drive Inclusion in the Innovation Economy
Fiona Murray, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NBER
Mercedes Delgado, Copenhagen Business School

Innovation is essential for economic growth, prosperity and social progress. And yet, there is strong evidence of persistent inequality and exclusion of women in the U.S. innovation economy and in many other countries. This paper has two main goals. First, identifying the gap between the STEM pipeline and the rates of gender inclusion in patenting to quantify the nature of the invention gap beyond a pipeline problem. Second, understanding the variation in inventor inclusion across regions, organizations and individuals that drive inclusion, as a window into policy and organizational catalysts for change.

Entrepreneurship in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the Business Formation Statistics
John C. Haltiwanger, University of Maryland and NBER

Applications for new businesses from the U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly and weekly Business Formation Statistics (BFS) fell substantially in the early stages of the pandemic but then surged in the second half of 2020. This surge has continued through early April 2021. The pace of applications since mid-2020 is the highest on record (earliest data available is 2004). The large increase in applications is for both likely new employers and nonemployers. These patterns contrast sharply with those in the Great Recession when applications for likely new employer businesses and in turn actual startups of employer businesses declined sharply and persistently. The surge in new business applications has been uneven across sectors. Ten 3-digit NAICS industries account for 75% of the surge. Dominant industries include Nonstore Retail (alone accounting for 33% of the surge), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Truck Transportation, and Accommodation and Food Services. Given that existing small businesses in Retail Trade and Accommodation and Food Services have suffered especially large declines in the pandemic, these patterns are consistent with restructuring induced by the pandemic.


This paper was distributed as Working Paper 28912, where an updated version may be available.

Crisis Innovation Policy from World War II to COVID-19
Daniel P. Gross, Duke University and NBER
Bhaven N. Sampat, Columbia University and NBER

Innovation policy can be a crucial component of governments' responses to crises. Because speed is a paramount objective, crisis innovation may also require different policy tools than innovation policy in non-crisis times, raising distinct questions and tradeoffs. In this paper, Gross and Sampat survey the U.S. policy response to two crises where innovation was crucial to a resolution: World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic. After providing an overview of the main elements of each of these efforts, Gross and Sampat discuss how they compare, and to what degree their differences reflect the nature of the central innovation policy problems and the maturity of the U.S. innovation system. The researchers then explore four key tradeoffs for crisis innovation policy---top-down vs. bottom-up priority setting, concentrated vs. distributed funding, patent policy, and managing disruptions to the innovation system---and provide a logic for policy choices. Finally, Gross and Sampat describe the longer-run impacts of the World War II effort and use these lessons to speculate on the potential long-run effects of the COVID-19 crisis on innovation policy and the innovation system.


This paper was distributed as Working Paper 28915, where an updated version may be available.

Funding Risky Research
Chiara Franzoni, Politecnico di Milano
Paula Stephan, Georgia State University and NBER

The paper discusses risk-taking and the funding of risky science, drawing on examples of mRNA-based drugs, the vaccines based on mRNA and the problems faced by Katalin Karik, a scientist who did pioneering-research related to mRNA-based drugs. Franzoni, Stephan, and Veugelers describe measures to distinguish risky from non-risky research and the extent to which the citation footprint of risky research differs from that of non-risky research. The researchers review empirical work concerning the funding of risky research which suggests that funding is biased against risky research. They provide a framework for thinking about why funding agencies may eschew funding risky research, focusing first on how factors within the research system, such as pressure to show results in a short time period and the widespread use of bibliometrics, contribute to risk aversion. Franzoni, Stephan, and Veugelers then focus on three key players affecting research funding and the role the three play in determining the amount of risky research that is undertaken: (1) funding agencies, (2) panelists and (3) principal investigators. The researchers close with a discussion of interventions that government agencies and universities could adopt if they wish to increase the amount of risk that they fund.


This paper was distributed as Working Paper 28905, where an updated version may be available.

Vaccines and the Pandemic
Michael Kremer, University of Chicago and NBER


Christopher Adams, Congressional Budget Office
Senay Agca, George Washington University
Suresh Balakrishnan, University System of Maryland
B. G. Beck, Viisage Technologies
Yeraly Beksultan, World Bank
Andrea P. Belz, National Science Foundation
Nathan Born, University of Pennsylvania
David Brazell, Department of the Treasury
Shelia Campbell, Congressional Budget Office
Stephen Campbell, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Maria Carina Ugarte, George Washington University
Julie Carlson, Federal Trade Commission
Connie Chang, Consultant
Stephanie D. Cheng, Edgeworth Economics
Colleen Chien, Santa Clara University
Daniel Correa, Stanford University
Paulo Correa, The World Bank
Rafael Corredoira, Ohio State University
Lokesh Dani, George Mason University
Brian Darmody, Association of University Research Parks
Donna Davis, American Association of the Advancement of Science
Adji Fatou Diagne, U.S. Census Bureau
Ana Ferreras, National Academy of Sciences
Kevin Finneran, "Issues in Science & Technology"
Igor Fridman, Quantized Concepts
Alexander Giczy, Patent and Trademark Office
Vance Ginn, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Edwin Goni, IADB
Merrill Goozner, Modern Healthcare, retired
Matteo Grazzi, Inter-American Development Bank
Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, National Science Foundation
Sue Hamann, National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research/ NIH
Peter Harter, The Farrington Group
Robert Hershey, Robert L. Hershey, P.E.
Matt Hourihan, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Ryan Hughes, Patent and Trademark Office
Cassandra Ingram, Bureau of the Census
Elizabeth Jex, Federal Trade Commission
James Kadtke, National Nanotechnology Coordinating Office
Audrey Kindlon, National Science Foundation
Georgia Kosmopolou, University of Oklahoma
David Langdon, Department of Commerce
Richard Lempert, University of Michigan
James A. Lewis, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Jessica Lin, Oracles Utilities
Sifan Liu, Brookings Institution
James Lloyd, Arizona State University
Nancy Lutz, National Science Foundation
Peter Meyer, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Egils Milbergs, Center for Accelerating Innovation
Richard Miller, Patent and Trademark Office
David Mitch, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Mark Muro, Brookings Institution
Nathan Musick, Congressional Budget Office
Seun Odibo, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
James Onken, Research Enterprise Analytics
Bianca Onwukwe, Department of the Treasury
Leonardo Ortega, Georgia Institute of Technology
Derek Ozkal, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Nicholas Pairolero, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Avital Percher, National Science Foundation
Carlo Pietrobelli, University Roma Tre and UNU-MERIT
Nicholas Rada, USPTO
Andrew Reamer, George Washington University
Santiago Reyes Ortega, World Bank
Michael Richey, Scineer Scientific Engineering LLC
Juan Riveros, Quadrant Economics LLC
Sally Rood, National Governors Association
Akbar Sadeghi, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Michelle Saksena, Patent and Trademark Office
Rachelle Sampson, University of Maryland
Simone Sasso, Interamerican Development Bank
Johanna Schneider, National Institutes of Health
Joshua Schnell, Clarivate Analytics
James A. Schuttinga, National Institutes of Health
Chad Shirley, Congressional Budget Office
Randolph Sim, Georgetown University
Mark Skinner, SSTI
Donald Spicer, University System of Maryland
Peter Stenberg, Department of Agriculture
Roland Stephen, SRI International
Claudia Stevenson, Inter-American Development Bank
Miron Straf, Virginia Tech
Joseph Teter, Naval Surface Warfare Center
Walter Valdivia, Mercatus Center
Karen E. White, National Science Foundation
Lloyd Whitman, National Science Foundation
Victoria Williams, Small Business Administration
Daniel Wilmoth, Small Business Administration
Nathan Wilson, Federal Trade Commission
Craig Woolcott, Department of Commerce
Susan Xu, U.S. International Trade Administration
Rieko Yajima, Stanford University
Zeynep Yavic, Ohio State University

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