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Public Investment Subsidies and Firm Performance – Evidence from Germany


  • Brachert Matthias


  • Dettmann Eva

    () (Department Structural Change and Productivity, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), Halle (Saale), Germany)

  • Titze Mirko

    () (Centre for Evidence-based Policy Consulting, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), Halle (Saale), Germany)


This paper assesses firm-level effects of the single largest investment subsidy programme in Germany. The analysis considers grants allocated to firms in East German regions over the period 2007 to 2013 under the regional policy scheme Joint Task ‘Improving Regional Economic Structures’ (GRW). We apply a coarsened exact matching (CEM) in combination with a fixed effects difference-in-differences (FEDiD) estimator to identify the effects of programme participation on the treated firms. For the assessment, we use administrative data from the Federal Statistical Office and the Offices of the Länder to demonstrate that this administrative database offers a huge potential for evidence-based policy advice. The results suggest that investment subsidies have a positive impact on different dimensions of firm development, but do not affect overall firm competitiveness. We find positive short- and medium-run effects on firm employment. The effects on firm turnover remain significant and positive only in the medium-run. Gross fixed capital formation responses positively to GRW funding only during the mean implementation period of the projects but becomes insignificant afterwards. Finally, the effect of GRW-funding on labour productivity remains insignificant throughout the whole period of analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Brachert Matthias & Dettmann Eva & Titze Mirko, 2018. "Public Investment Subsidies and Firm Performance – Evidence from Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 238(2), pages 103-124, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:238:y:2018:i:2:p:103-124:n:15

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    Cited by:

    1. Brachert, Matthias & Dettmann, Eva & Titze, Mirko, 2019. "The regional effects of a place-based policy – Causal evidence from Germany," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    2. Holtemöller, Oliver & Schult, Christoph, 2019. "Stellungnahme zum "Strukturstärkungsgesetz Kohleregionen" anlässlich der Anhörung im Ausschuss für Wirtschaft und Energie des Deutschen Bundestages am 15. Mai 2019," IWH Online 2/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    3. Brachert, Matthias & Giebler, Alexander & Heimpold, Gerhard & Titze, Mirko & Urban-Thielicke, Dana, 2018. "IWH-Subventionsdatenbank: Mikrodaten zu Programmen direkter Unternehmenssubventionen in Deutschland. Datendokumentation," IWH Technical Reports 2/2018, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Brachert, Matthias & Brautzsch, Hans-Ulrich & Dettmann, Eva & Giebler, Alexander & Schneider, Lutz & Titze, Mirko, 2020. ""Evaluation der Gemeinschaftsaufgabe 'Verbesserung der regionalen Wirtschaftsstruktur' (GRW)" durch einzelbetriebliche Erfolgskontrolle: Endbericht," IWH Online 5/2020, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    5. Ondřej Dvouletý & Ivana Blažková, 2019. "The Impact of Public Grants on Firm-Level Productivity: Findings from the Czech Food Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-24, January.

    More about this item


    evaluation; industrial policy; matching; fixed effects difference-in-differences model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General
    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General


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