The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 1427–1450 | Cite as

The moderating role of IPR on the relationship between country-level R&D and individual-level entrepreneurial performance

  • André van Stel
  • Serhiy Lyalkov
  • Ana Millán
  • José María MillánEmail author


Using recent data drawn from the European Working Conditions Survey for 32 European countries, we explore the relationship between country-level expenditures on R&D, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), and individual-level entrepreneurial performance as measured by earnings. Our results show that both R&D expenditures and IPR are positively associated with earnings (and hence the quality) of individual entrepreneurs. However, we also find an intriguing moderation effect in the sense that IPR reduces the positive relationship between country R&D and entrepreneurial earnings. This suggests that too strict IPR legislation may hamper the diffusion of knowledge created by R&D. Hence, governments need to carefully consider the level of IPR they want to install, especially in countries with high R&D expenditures.


Expenditure on R&D Intellectual property rights Entrepreneurship Self-employment Earnings European Working Conditions Survey 



All authors contributed equally to the manuscript. The authors would like to thank Andrew Burke, the guest editors—Maribel Guerrero and David Urbano—, and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments that contributed substantially to the development of this paper. This paper is part of Serhiy Lyalkov’s doctoral dissertation, which has been written under the framework of the PhD Program in Economics, Business, Finance and Computer Science at the University of Huelva and the International University of Andalusia, Spain.


This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad) under Grants number ECO2017-86305-C4-2-R and ECO2017-86402-C2-2-R; Regional Government of Andalusia (Junta de Andalucía) through Research Group SEJ-487 (Spanish Entrepreneurship Research Group—SERG); and University of Huelva through Research and Transfer Policy Strategy (Estrategia de Política de Investigación y Transferencia) 2018.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trinity Business SchoolTrinity College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.Center for EntrepreneurshipKozminski UniversityWarsawPoland
  3. 3.International University of AndalusiaHuelvaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Financial Economics and AccountingPablo de Olavide UniversitySevilleSpain
  5. 5.Department of EconomicsUniversity of HuelvaHuelvaSpain

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