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University-to-Industry knowledge transfers and firms’ resilience during the Great Recession: Evidence for Spanish firms

21 February 2024
2:00 pm
San Francesco Complex - classroom 1

This study examines the extent to which university-to-industry knowledge transfers influence firm performance during economic downturns. Using a sample of Spanish manufacturing firms, we assess how those that collaborated with universities or acquired R&D from these institutions prior to the Great Recession outperformed their peers in terms of real sales growth. Our results suggest that knowledge transfers from universities became more valuable in dire times and in sectors that were severely affected by the crisis (as measured by export growth). Small and medium-sized enterprises especially benefit from their partnerships with universities during the recession. These results are robust to different model specifications. Moreover, product differentiation and expansion into new markets emerge as potential key mechanisms for the greater resilience of firms with university knowledge transfer during the Great Recession.


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Maria Dolores Añón Higón, University of Valencia