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Do public subsidies stimulate private R&D spending?


  • González, Xulia
  • Pazó, Consuelo


The objective of this paper is to contribute to the empirical literature that evaluates the effects of public R&D support on private R&D investment. We apply a matching approach to analyze the effects of public R&D support in Spanish manufacturing firms. We examine whether or not the effects are different depending on the size of the firm and the technological level of the sectors in which the firms operate. We evaluate the effect of R&D subsidies on the subsidized firms, considering both the effect of subsidies on firms that would have performed R&D in the absence of public support and also the effect of inducement to undertake R&D activities. We also analyze the effect that concession of subsidies might have on firms which do not enjoy this type of support. The main conclusions indicate absence of "crowding-out", either full or partial, between public and private spending and that some firms - mainly small and operating in low technology sectors - might not have engaged in R&D activities in the absence of subsidies.

Suggested Citation

  • González, Xulia & Pazó, Consuelo, 2008. "Do public subsidies stimulate private R&D spending?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 371-389, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:3:p:371-389

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heijs, Joost, 2003. "Freerider behaviour and the public finance of R&D activities in enterprises: the case of the Spanish low interest credits for R&D," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 445-461, March.
    2. Xulia González & Jordi Jaumandreu & Consuelo Pazo, 2005. "Barriers to Innovation and Subsidy Effectiveness," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 930-949, Winter.
    3. Blanes, J. Vicente & Busom, Isabel, 2004. "Who participates in R&D subsidy programs?: The case of Spanish manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1459-1476, December.
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    6. Lach, Saul, 2002. "Do R&D Subsidies Stimulate or Displace Private R&D? Evidence from Israel," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 369-390, December.
    7. Klette, Tor Jakob & Moen, Jarle & Griliches, Zvi, 2000. "Do subsidies to commercial R&D reduce market failures? Microeconometric evaluation studies1," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 471-495, April.
    8. Isabel Busom, 2000. "An Empirical Evaluation of The Effects of R&D Subsidies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 111-148.
    9. David, Paul A. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Toole, Andrew A., 2000. "Is public R&D a complement or substitute for private R&D? A review of the econometric evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 497-529, April.
    10. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Fier, Andreas, 2002. "Do Innovation Subsidies Crowd Out Private Investment? Evidence from the German Service Sector," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models


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