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Matthew Effects And R&D Subsidies: Knowledge Cumulability In High-Tech And Low-Tech Industries

  • Cristiano Antonelli
  • Francesco Crespi

    ()

    (University of Turin and BRICK Collegio Carlo Alberto
    Rome Tre University and BRICK Collegio Carlo Alberto)

The paper explores the causes and effects of persistence in the discretionary allocation of public subsidies to R&D activities performed by private firms in high-tech and low-tech industries. It applies the distinction between vicious Matthew-effect and virtuous Matthew-effect. The former qualifies the persistence in the discretionary allocation of public subsidies in terms of sheer reputation based upon previous awards. The latter is identified by the role of the accumulation of competence stemming from past grants in current R&D activities. Virtuous Matthew effects are found in high-tech industries where knowledge cumulability is higher. In traditional industries, vicious Matthew effects prevail for the lower levels of knowledge cumulability. Here reputation-Matthew-effects can lead to substitution of private funds with public ones.

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Article provided by GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University in its journal Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia.

Volume (Year): 71 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 5-31

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Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v71_n1_p5-31
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