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Are Incentives for R&D Effective? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach

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  • Raffaello Bronzini
  • Eleonora Iachini

Abstract

This paper evaluates a unique R&D subsidy program implemented in northern Italy. Firms were invited to submit proposals for new projects and only those which scored above a certain threshold received the subsidy. We use a sharp regression discontinuity design to compare the investment spending of subsidized firms with that of unsubsidized firms. For the sample as a whole we find no significant increase in investment. This overall effect, however, masks substantial heterogeneity in the program's impact. We estimate that small enterprises increased their investments- by approximately the amount of the subsidy they received- whereas larger firms did not.

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  • Raffaello Bronzini & Eleonora Iachini, 2014. "Are Incentives for R&D Effective? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 100-134, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:6:y:2014:i:4:p:100-134
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.6.4.100
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    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • R32 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Other Spatial Production and Pricing Analysis

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