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How to allocate R&D (and other) subsidies: An experimentally tested policy recommendation

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  • Giebe, Thomas
  • Grebe, Tim
  • Wolfstetter, Elmar

Abstract

This paper evaluates how R&D subsidies to the business sector are typically awarded. We identify two sources of ine_ciency: the selection based on a ranking of individual projects, rather than complete allocations, and the failure to induce competition among applicants in order to extract and use information about the necessary funding. In order to correct these ine_- ciencies we propose mechanisms that include some form of an auction in which applicants bid for subsidies. Our proposals are tested in a simulation and in controlled lab experiments. The results suggest that adopting our proposals may considerably improve the allocation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Giebe, Thomas & Grebe, Tim & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2006. "How to allocate R&D (and other) subsidies: An experimentally tested policy recommendation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1261-1272, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:35:y:2006:i:9:p:1261-1272
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Markus Groth, 2005. "Auctions in an outcome-based payment scheme to reward ecological services in agriculture – Conception, implementation and results," ERSA conference papers ersa05p180, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Eickelpasch, Alexander & Fritsch, Michael, 2005. "Contests for cooperation--A new approach in German innovation policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1269-1282, October.
    3. Jean-Pierre Benoît & Vijay Krishna, 2001. "Multiple-Object Auctions with Budget Constrained Bidders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 155-179.
    4. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Standard Auctions with Financially Constrained Bidders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-21.
    5. Manuel Trajtenberg, 2002. "Government Support for Commercial R&D: Lessons from the Israeli Experience," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 2, pages 79-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    7. Martin, Stephen & Scott, John T., 2000. "The nature of innovation market failure and the design of public support for private innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 437-447, April.
    8. Dirk Czarnitzki & Georg Licht, 2006. "Additionality of public R&D grants in a transition economy," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(1), pages 101-131, March.
    9. José García-Quevedo, 2004. "Do Public Subsidies Complement Business R&D? A Meta-Analysis of the Econometric Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 87-102, February.
    10. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Robert, Jacques, 1996. "Optimal auction with financially constrained buyers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 181-186, August.
    11. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Fier, Andreas, 2001. "Do R&D subsidies matter? Evidence for the German service sector," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-19, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hainz, Christa & Hakenes, Hendrik, 2012. "The politician and his banker — How to efficiently grant state aid," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 218-225.
    2. Krzysztof Rutkiewicz, 2015. "State aid for research, development and innovation in the European Union competition policy," Ekonomia i Prawo, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika, vol. 14(1), pages 19-32, March.
    3. Ensthaler, Ludwig & Giebe, Thomas, 2009. "Subsidies, Knapsack Auctions and Dantzig’s Greedy Heuristic," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 254, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0332 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Carlos José Miranda Victório & Helder Gomes Costa & Cristina Gomes de Souza, 2016. "Modeling selection criteria of R&D projects for awarding direct subsidies to the private sector," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 275-287.
    6. Christa Hainz & Hendrik Hakenes, 2007. "The Politician and his Banker," CESifo Working Paper Series 2153, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Helbach, Christoph & Keldenich, Klemens & Rothgang, Michael & Yang, Guanzhong, 2012. "Call Me if You Can – An Experimental Investigation of Information Sharing in Knowledge Networks," Ruhr Economic Papers 332, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    8. Anders Broström, 2012. "Firms’ rationales for interaction with research universities and the principles for public co-funding," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 313-329, June.
    9. Donja Darai & Jens Grosser & Nadja Trhal, 2009. "Patents versus Subsidies � A Laboratory Experiment," SOI - Working Papers 0905, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    10. Laura Magazzini & Fabio Pammolli & Massimo Riccaboni, 2009. "Nuove politiche per l'innovazione nel settore delle scienze della vita," Working Papers CERM 03-2009, Competitività, Regole, Mercati (CERM).
    11. Ensthaler, Ludwig & Giebe, Thomas, 2014. "A dynamic auction for multi-object procurement under a hard budget constraint," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 179-189.
    12. Annamaria Nifo & Gaetano Vecchione, 2015. "A quali imprese vanno i sussidi pubblici? evidenza dall’industria manifatturiera italiana," RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA E STATISTICA DEL TERRITORIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(3), pages 5-28.
    13. Jürgen Janger & Michael Böheim & Martin Falk & Rahel Falk & Werner Hölzl & Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig & Michael Peneder & Andreas Reinstaller & Fabian Unterlass, 2010. "Research and Innovation Policies after the Crisis," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 83(8), pages 675-689, August.
    14. repec:wfo:wstudy:40225 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jürgen Janger & Michael Böheim & Martin Falk & Rahel Falk & Werner Hölzl & Daniela Kletzan-Slamanig & Michael Peneder & Andreas Reinstaller & Fabian Unterlass & Gunther Tichy, 2010. "Research and Innovation Policy after the Crisis," Austrian Economic Quarterly, WIFO, vol. 15(4), pages 321-335, December.
    16. Mayr, Dieter & Schmidt, Johannes & Schmid, Erwin, 2014. "The potentials of a reverse auction in allocating subsidies for cost-effective roof-top photovoltaic system deployment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 555-565.
    17. Bannò, Mariasole & Sgobbi, Francesca, 2010. "Firm participation in financial incentive programmes: The case of subsidies for outward internationalisation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 792-803, November.
    18. Christoph Helbach & Klemens Keldenich & Michael Rothgang & Guanzhong Yang, 2012. "Call Me if You Can – An Experimental Investigation of Information Sharing in Knowledge Networks," Ruhr Economic Papers 0332, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    19. Ozer, Muammer, 2007. "Reducing the demand uncertainties at the fuzzy-front-end of developing new online services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1372-1387, November.
    20. Torres, Miguel Matos & Clegg, L. Jeremy & Varum, Celeste Amorim, 2016. "The missing link between awareness and use in the uptake of pro-internationalization incentives," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 495-510.
    21. Ensthaler, Ludwig & Giebe, Thomas, 2014. "Bayesian optimal knapsack procurement," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(3), pages 774-779.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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