IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/respol/v45y2016i2p442-457.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The impact of R&D subsidies on firm innovation

Author

Listed:
  • Bronzini, Raffaello
  • Piselli, Paolo

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of an R&D subsidy program implemented in a region of northern Italy in the early 2000s on innovation by beneficiary firms. We use a regression discontinuity design strategy to assess the effect of the grants on the number of patent applications and the likelihood of submissions by subsidized firms. We find that the program had a significant impact on the number of patent applications, more markedly in the case of smaller firms. Our results also show that the program was successful in increasing the likelihood of applying for a patent, but only for smaller firms. Our estimates show that one additional patent application requires grants of between €206,000 and €310,000 to the firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Bronzini, Raffaello & Piselli, Paolo, 2016. "The impact of R&D subsidies on firm innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 442-457.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:2:p:442-457
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2015.10.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048733315001614
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Kraft, Kornelius & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2009. "The knowledge production of 'R' and 'D'," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 141-143, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Charles Bérubé & Pierre Mohnen, 2009. "Are firms that receive R&D subsidies more innovative?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 206-225, February.
    4. Albert N. Link & John T. Scott, 2013. "Public R&D subsidies, outside private support, and employment growth," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(6), pages 537-550, September.
    5. Crepon, B. & Duguet, E. & Mairesse, J., 1998. "Research Investment, Innovation and Productivity: An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 98.15, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    6. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    7. Criscuolo, Chiara & Martin, Ralf & Overman, Henry & Van Reenen, John, 2012. "The Causal Effects of an Industrial Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 6323, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. José Ángel Zúñiga-Vicente & César Alonso-Borrego & Francisco J. Forcadell & José I. Galán, 2014. "Assessing The Effect Of Public Subsidies On Firm R&D Investment: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 36-67, February.
    9. Moretti, Enrico & Wilson, Daniel J., 2014. "State incentives for innovation, star scientists and jobs: Evidence from biotech," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 20-38.
    10. Criscuolo, Chiara & Haskel, Jonathan E. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2010. "Global engagement and the innovation activities of firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 191-202, March.
    11. Antonelli, Cristiano & Crespi, Francesco & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2012. "Inside innovation persistence: New evidence from Italian micro-data," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 341-353.
    12. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1994. "R&D Spillovers and Recipient Firm Size," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 336-340, May.
    13. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hanel, Petr & Rosa, Julio Miguel, 2011. "Evaluating the impact of R&D tax credits on innovation: A microeconometric study on Canadian firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 217-229, March.
    14. 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.
    15. Bruno van Pottelsberghe, . "Lost property: The European patent system and why it doesn't work," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 312.
    16. Philippe Aghion & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt & Susanne Prantl, 2009. "The Effects of Entry on Incumbent Innovation and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 20-32, February.
    17. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-333, March.
    18. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Roberto Gabriele & Anna Giunta, 2012. "R&D Incentives: The Effectiveness Of A Place-Based Policy," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0169, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.
    23. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. 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.
    25. 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.
    26. Hagedoorn, John & Cloodt, Myriam, 2003. "Measuring innovative performance: is there an advantage in using multiple indicators?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1365-1379, September.
    27. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard R. Nelson & John P. Walsh, 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (or Not)," NBER Working Papers 7552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Clausen, Tommy H., 2009. "Do subsidies have positive impacts on R&D and innovation activities at the firm level?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 239-253, December.
    29. Puhani, Patrick A., 2012. "The treatment effect, the cross difference, and the interaction term in nonlinear “difference-in-differences” models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 85-87.
    30. Griliches, Zvi, 1986. "Productivity, R&D, and the Basic Research at the Firm Level in the 1970's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 141-154, March.
    31. Katrin Hussinger, 2008. "R&D and subsidies at the firm level: an application of parametric and semiparametric two-step selection models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 729-747.
    32. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    33. Cincera, Michele, 1997. "Patents, R&D, and Technological Spillovers at the Firm Level: Some Evidence from Econometric Count Models for Panel Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 265-280, May-June.
    34. Bruno Crepon & Emmanuel Duguet & Jacques Mairesse, 1998. "Research, Innovation And Productivity: An Econometric Analysis At The Firm Level," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 115-158.
    35. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Firm Size and the Nature of Innovation within Industries: The Case of Process and Product R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 232-243, May.
    36. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of research grant funding on scientific productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1168-1177, October.
    37. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    38. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    39. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
    40. Greene, William, 2008. "Functional forms for the negative binomial model for count data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 585-590, June.
    41. Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal & Josep-Maria Arauzo-Carod, 2012. "Can a knowledge-based cluster be created? The case of the Barcelona 22@ district," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 377-400, June.
    42. Almus, Matthias & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2003. "The Effects of Public R&D Subsidies on Firms' Innovation Activities: The Case of Eastern Germany," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(2), pages 226-236, April.
    43. Davide Fantino & Giusy Cannone, 2013. "Evaluating the efficacy of European regional funds for R&D," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 902, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    44. Nagaoka, Sadao & Motohashi, Kazuyuki & Goto, Akira, 2010. "Patent Statistics as an Innovation Indicator," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    45. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Applications to Poisson Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 701-720, May.
    46. Guido de Blasio & Davide Fantino & Guido Pellegrini, 2015. "Evaluating the impact of innovation incentives: evidence from an unexpected shortage of funds," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(6), pages 1285-1314.
    47. Anand, Bharat N & Khanna, Tarun, 2000. "The Structure of Licensing Contracts," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 103-135, March.
    48. Francesca Lotti & Giovanni Marin, 2013. "Matching of PATSTAT applications to AIDA firms: discussion of the methodology and results," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 166, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    49. Lee, David S. & Card, David, 2008. "Regression discontinuity inference with specification error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 655-674, February.
    50. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    51. Lerner, Josh, 1999. "The Government as Venture Capitalist: The Long-Run Impact of the SBIR Program," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(3), pages 285-318, July.
    52. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    53. Cohen, Wesley M. & Goto, Akira & Nagata, Akiya & Nelson, Richard R. & Walsh, John P., 2002. "R&D spillovers, patents and the incentives to innovate in Japan and the United States," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1349-1367, December.
    54. Lee G. Branstetter & Mariko Sakakibara, 2002. "When Do Research Consortia Work Well and Why? Evidence from Japanese Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 143-159, March.
    55. Spence, Michael, 1984. "Cost Reduction, Competition, and Industry Performance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 101-121, January.
    56. Tuomas Takalo & Tanja Tanayama & Otto Toivanen, 2013. "Estimating the Benefits of Targeted R&D Subsidies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 255-272, March.
    57. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of research grant funding on scientific productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1168-1177.
    58. Isabel Busom & Beatriz Corchuelo & Ester Martínez-Ros, 2014. "Tax incentives… or subsidies for business R&D?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 571-596, October.
    59. Colombo, Massimo G. & Grilli, Luca & Murtinu, Samuele, 2011. "R&D subsidies and the performance of high-tech start-ups," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 97-99, July.
    60. Elias Einiö, 2014. "R&D Subsidies and Company Performance: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Government Funding Based on the ERDF Population-Density Rule," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 710-728, October.
    61. Holger Gorg & Eric Strobl, 2007. "The Effect of R&D Subsidies on Private R&D," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(294), pages 215-234, May.
    62. Hall, Bronwyn & Van Reenen, John, 2000. "How effective are fiscal incentives for R&D? A review of the evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 449-469, April.
    63. Francesca Lotti & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Cross Country Differences in Patent Propensity: A Firm-Level Investigation," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 64(4), pages 469-502, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Di Gennaro, Daniele & Pellegrini, Guido, 2016. "Evaluating direct and indirect treatment effects in Italian R&D expenditures," MPRA Paper 76467, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Jan 2017.
    2. Paolo Finaldi Russo & Silvia Magri & Cristiana Rampazzi, 2016. "Innovative start-ups in Italy: their special features and the effects of the 2012 law," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 339, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:125-137 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:7:p:1256-1266 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Dechezlepretre, Antoine & Einiö, Elias & Martin, Ralf & Nguyen, Kieu-Trang & Reenen, John Van, 2016. "Do tax incentives for research increase firm innovation? An RD design for R&D," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66428, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Janger, Jürgen & Schubert, Torben & Andries, Petra & Rammer, Christian & Hoskens, Machteld, 2017. "The EU 2020 innovation indicator: A step forward in measuring innovation outputs and outcomes?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 30-42.
    7. Jürgen Janger & Agnes Kügler & Andreas Reinstaller & Fabian Unterlass, 2017. "Austria 2025 – Measuring and Determining the Frontier in Science, Technology, Innovation and Economy," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 90(2), pages 141-151, February.
    8. Adam B. Jaffe & Trinh Le, 2015. "The Impact of R&D Subsidy on Innovation: a Study of New Zealand Firms," NBER Working Papers 21479, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Federica Bertamino & Raffaello Bronzini & Marco De Maggio & Davide Revelli, 2016. "Local policies for innovation: the case of technology districts in Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 313, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Bernini, Cristina & Cerqua, Augusto & Pellegrini, Guido, 2017. "Public subsidies, TFP and efficiency: A tale of complex relationships," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 751-767.
    11. Giovanni Cerulli & Roberto Gabriele & Bianca Potì, 2016. "The role of firm R&D effort and collaboration as mediating drivers of innovation policy effectiveness," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 426-447, July.
    12. repec:eee:techno:v:74-75:y:2018:i::p:42-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Xin, Xiang, 2018. "Are R&D subsidies effective? The effect of industry competition," Economics Discussion Papers 2018-37, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    14. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Anthony J. Venables, 2013. "Multinationals and industrial policy," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 361-382, SUMMER.
    15. N. N., 2017. "WIFO-Monatsberichte, no 2/2017," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 90(2), February.
    16. Heim, Sven & Hüschelrath, Kai & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp & Strazzeri, Maurizio, 2017. "The impact of state aid on the survival and financial viability of aided firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 193-214.
    17. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:6:p:1142-1161 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Comin, Diego & Licht, Georg & Pellens, Maikel & Schubert, Torben, 2018. "Do Companies Benefit from Public Research Organizations? The Impact of the Fraunhofer Society in Germany," Papers in Innovation Studies 2018/7, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    19. Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Leiponen, Aija & Thomas, Llewellyn D W, 2017. "The Young, the Old and the Innovative: The Impact of R&D on Firm Performance in ICT versus Other Sectors," ETLA Working Papers 51, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    20. Liu, Rebecca & Rammer, Christian, 2016. "The contribution of different public innovation funding programs to SMEs' export performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-078, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation incentives; Research and development; Patents; Regression discontinuity design;

    JEL classification:

    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:45:y:2016:i:2:p:442-457. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.