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Estimating the causal effect of R&D subsidies in a pan-European program

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  • Hünermund, Paul
  • Czarnitzki, Dirk

Abstract

We investigate the effect of Europe's largest multilateral subsidy program for R&D-performing small and medium-sized enterprises. The program applied a specific budget allocation rule, referred to as Virtual Common Pot (VCP), which is designed to avoid cross-subsidization between participating countries. This rule creates exogenous variation in funding status and allows us to identify the causal effect of public R&D grants on firm growth. In addition, we compare the program's effect under the VCP rule with the standard situation of a Real Common Pot (RCP), in which program authorities allocate a single budget according to uniform project evaluation criteria. Our estimates suggest that R&D grants had no average effect on job creation and sales growth, but treatment effects were heterogeneous and positive for high-quality projects. Under an RCP the program would have created 53% more jobs and 48% higher sales.

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  • Hünermund, Paul & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2019. "Estimating the causal effect of R&D subsidies in a pan-European program," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 115-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:48:y:2019:i:1:p:115-124
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2018.08.001
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    3. Giebel, Marek & Kraft, Kornelius, 2021. "Subsidies and innovation in the recent financial crisis," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-097, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Kristof Van Criekingen & Mark Freel & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2021. "Open innovation deficiency: Evidence on project abandonment and delay," Working Papers of Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation, Leuven 668283, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation, Leuven.
    5. Kwangsoo Shin & Minkyung Choy & Chul Lee & Gunno Park, 2019. "Government R&D Subsidy and Additionality of Biotechnology Firms: The Case of the South Korean Biotechnology Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(6), pages 1-22, March.
    6. Jan Schnellenbach & Christian Schubert, 2019. "A note on the behavioral political economy of innovation policy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 29(5), pages 1399-1414, November.
    7. Mulier, Klaas & Samarin, Ilia, 2021. "Sector heterogeneity and dynamic effects of innovation subsidies: Evidence from Horizon 2020," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(10).
    8. Arash Ketabforoush Badri & Parsa Ketabforoush Badri & Mostafa Cham, 2019. "R&D Spending and Economic Growth in Selected OECD Countries," International Journal of Applied Economics, Finance and Accounting, Online Academic Press, vol. 5(2), pages 48-54.
    9. Aurélien Quignon & Nadine Levratto, 2021. "Innovation Performance and the Signal Effect: Evidence from a European Program," EconomiX Working Papers 2021-34, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    10. Kyoungmi Lee & Sunglok Choi & Jae-Suk Yang, 2021. "Can expensive research equipment boost research and development performances?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(9), pages 7715-7742, September.
    11. Hyytinen, Ari, 2021. "Shared problem solving and design thinking in entrepreneurship research," Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Elsevier, vol. 16(C).
    12. Zhao, Bo & Ziedonis, Rosemarie, 2020. "State governments as financiers of technology startups: Evidence from Michigan's R&D loan program," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
    13. Yu, Feifei & Wang, Liting & Li, Xiaotong, 2020. "The effects of government subsidies on new energy vehicle enterprises: The moderating role of intelligent transformation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    14. Evangelos Makryvelios & George Mavrotas, 2021. "Analysis of the Research & Development Funding in Greece under EU Programmes," Journal of Public Administration and Governance, Macrothink Institute, vol. 11(1), pages 223250-2232, December.
    15. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hünermund, Paul & Moshgbar, Nima, 2020. "Public Procurement of Innovation: Evidence from a German Legislative Reform," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    16. Bettina Becker, 2020. "The Impact of Innovation Policy on Firm Innovation and Performance: A Review of Recent Research Developments," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 17(04), pages 10-15, January.
    17. Chandranath Amarasekara & Bernard Njindan Iyke & Paresh Kumar Narayan, 2022. "The role of R&D and economic policy uncertainty in Sri Lanka’s economic growth," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 8(1), pages 1-19, December.
    18. Aalto, Eero & Gustafsson, Robin, 2020. "Innovation Promotion Rationales and Impacts – A Review," ETLA Reports 99, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    19. Paul Hünermund & Dirk Czarnitzki, 2020. "Innovation Policy and Causality," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 17(04), pages 03-06, January.
    20. Pietro Santoleri & Andrea Mina & Alberto Di Minin & Irene Martelli, 2020. "The causal effects of R&D grants: evidence from a regression discontinuity," LEM Papers Series 2020/18, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    R&D policy; Causal inference; Virtual Common Pot; Joint Programming Initiative; European Research Area;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models

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