Skip navigation

Josh Lerner

Josh Lerner is Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, with a joint appointment in the Finance and Entrepreneurial Units. He is the author of The Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed and What to Do About It.

Titles by This Author

Open Source and Economic Development

Discussions of the economic impact of open source software often generate more heat than light. Advocates passionately assert the benefits of open source while critics decry its effects. Missing from the debate is rigorous economic analysis and systematic economic evidence of the impact of open source on consumers, firms, and economic development in general. This book fills that gap. In The Comingled Code, Josh Lerner and Mark Schankerman, drawing on a new, large-scale database, show that open source and proprietary software interact in sometimes unexpected ways, and discuss the policy implications of these findings. The new data (from a range of countries in varying stages of development) documents the mixing of open source and proprietary software: firms sell proprietary software while contributing to open source, and users extensively mix and match the two. Lerner and Schankerman examine the ways in which software differs from other technologies in promoting economic development, what motivates individuals and firms to contribute to open source projects, how developers and users view the trade-offs between the two kinds of software, and how government policies can ensure that open source competes effectively with proprietary software and contributes to economic development.

In The Venture Capital Cycle, Paul Gompers and Josh Lerner correct widespread misperceptions about the nature and role of the venture capitalist and provide an accessible and comprehensive overview of the venture capital industry. Bringing together fifteen years of ground-breaking research into the form and function of venture capital firms, they examine the fund-raising, investing, and exit stages of venture capitalists. Three major themes run throughout the process: venture investors confront tremendous information and incentive problems; venture capital processes are inherently interrelated, and a complete understanding of the industry requires a full understanding of the venture cycle; and, unlike most financial markets, the venture capital industry adjusts very slowly to shifts in the demand for and the supply of investment capital.

This second edition has been thoroughly revised in light of recent research findings, and includes six new chapters. The first part, on fund-raising, now includes a chapter that examines what determines the level of venture capital fund-raising and how tax policy influences the demand for venture capital. Three new chapters in the second part, on investing, examine what kind of distortions are introduced when the venture capital market goes dramatically up, a question prompted by the 1999-2000 market bubble; demonstrate that the venture capital industry does indeed spur innovation, an important determinant of economic growth; and examine whether and under what circumstances governments can be effective venture capitalists. Two new chapters in the third part, on exiting venture capital investments, discuss whether venture capital firms affiliated with investment-banks are prone to conflicts of interest with public offerings and how lockups on initial public offerings are used to limit conflicts of interest.

Titles by This Editor

The economic importance of innovative activity brings with it an active debate on the effect of public policy on the innovation process. This annual series, sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, brings the work of leading academic researchers to the broader policy community, presenting papers that demonstrate the role that economic theory and empirical analysis can play in evaluating policy. Volume 7 considers such topics as the apparent productivity decline in the pharmaceutical industry; the effect of patents on both the "scientific commons" and cumulative discovery; the flow of new Ph.D.s into industry; a new mechanism to create economic incentives for producers of digital goods that both stimulates innovation and encourages widespread use; and a formal analytical structure for a science of crisis management.

The economic importance of innovative activity brings with it an active debate on public policy's effect on the innovation process. This annual series, sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, brings the work of leading academic researchers to the broader policy community. Volume 6 considers such topics as the diversity of patent protection and the implications of weak patents for innovation and competition; reforms in U.S. patent policy that will encourage innovation; the multifaceted benefits of the Internet for consumers, including price competition and novel forms of communication; the drug development and approval process; the "offshoring" of research and development; and the advantages of industry-specific studies of the relationship between innovation and competition. The papers highlight the role economic theory and empirical analysis can play in evaluating current and prospective innovation policy alternatives.

The economic importance of innovation brings with it an active debate on the impact public policy has on the innovation process. This annual series, sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, brings the work of leading academic researchers to the broader policy community. This volume considers such topics as the implications of software outsourcing for American technology leadership; the complementary roles of large corporations and entrepreneurs in developing innovative technology; city-level policy and planning that establishes a "jurisdictional advantage" in the value of local resources; the effect of taxes on entrepreneurship; and how to incorporate innovation into the analysis of business mergers. These papers highlight the role economic theory and empirical analysis can play in evaluating policies and programs regarding research, innovation, and the commercialization of new technologies.

The rapid pace of technological change brings with it an active debate about appropriate economic policies regarding research, innovation, and the commercialization of new technology. This annual series, sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, provides a forum to bring the work of leading academic researchers to an audience of policymakers and those interested in the interaction between public policy and innovation.

This annual series, sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, provides a forum for research on the interactions among public policy, the innovation process, and the economy. Discussions cover all types of policy that affect the ability of an economy to achieve scientific and technological progress or that affect the impact of science and technology on economic growth. The books are designed to be of interest to general readers interested in public policy as well as to economists.

This annual series, sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, provides a forum for research on the interactions among public policy, the innovation process, and the economy. Discussions cover all types of policy that affect the ability of an economy to achieve scientific and technological progress or that affect the impact of science and technology on economic growth.

This new annual series, sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, will provide a forum for research on the interactions between public policy and the innovation process. Discussions will cover all types of policy that affect the ability of an economy to achieve scientific and technological progress or that affect the impact of science and technology on economic growth.