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The differential impact of privately and publicly funded R&D on R&D investment and innovation: the Italian case


  • Giovanni Cerulli
  • Bianca Potì


This paper explores the impact of a specific R&D policy instrument, the Italian Fondo per le Agevolazioni della Ricerca (FAR), on industrial R&D and technological output at the firm level. Our objective is threefold: first, to identify the presence or absence of private R&D investment additionality/crowding-out within a pooled sample and in various firm subsets (identified by region, size, level of technology, and other features), while also taking into account the effect of single policy instruments or mixes of them. Secondly, to analyse the output (innovation) additionality by comparing the differential impact of privately funded R&D and publicly funded R&D expenditure on applications for patents filed by firms. Thirdly, the paper will compare the structural characteristics of firms showing additionality with those of firms showing crowding-out, in order to determine the firm characteristics associated with successful policy interventions. Our results suggest that FAR is effective in the pooled sample, although no effect emerges in some firm subsets. In particular, while large firms seem to have been decisive for the success of this policy, small firms present a more marked crowding-out effect. Furthermore, the firms’ growth strategies and ability to transform R&D input into innovation output (patents) seem to have a positive effect in terms of additionality.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Cerulli & Bianca Potì, 2012. "The differential impact of privately and publicly funded R&D on R&D investment and innovation: the Italian case," Prometheus, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 113-149, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:promet:v:30:y:2012:i:1:p:113-149 DOI: 10.1080/08109028.2012.671288

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Cerulli & Bianca Potì, 2014. "The Impact of Public Support Intensity on Business R&D: Evidence from a Dose-Response Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa14p625, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Giovanni Cerulli & Bianca Poti', 2016. "Explaining firm sensitivity to R&D subsidies within a dose-response model: The role of financial constraints, real cost of investment, and strategic value of R&D," DEM Working Papers 2016/09, Department of Economics and Management.
    3. Bodas Freitas, Isabel & Castellacci, Fulvio & Fontana, Roberto & Malerba, Franco & Vezzulli, Andrea, 2017. "Sectors and the additionality effects of R&D tax credits: A cross-country microeconometric analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 57-72.
    4. Aristei, David & Sterlacchini, Alessandro & Venturini, Francesco, 2015. "The effects of public supports on business R&D: firm-level evidence across EU countries," MPRA Paper 64611, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Dezhina, I. & Simachev, Yu., 2013. "Matching Grants for Stimulating Partnerships between Companies and Universities in Innovation Area: Initial Effects in Russia," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 99-122.
    6. Hottenrott, Hanna & Lopes-Bento, Cindy, 2014. "(International) R&D collaboration and SMEs: The effectiveness of targeted public R&D support schemes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 1055-1066.
    7. Giovanni Cerulli, 2012. "Are R&D Subsidies Provided Optimally? Evidence from a Simulated Agency-Firm Stochastic Dynamic Game," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 15(1), pages 1-7.
    8. Correa, Paulo & Andres, Luis & Borja-Vega, Christian, 2013. "The impact of government support on firm R&D investments : a meta-analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6532, The World Bank.
    9. Michel Dumont, 2013. "Working Paper 01-13 - The impact of subsidies and fiscal incentives on corporate R&D expenditures in Belgium (2001-2009)," Working Papers 1301, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    10. Szczygielski, Krzysztof & Grabowski, Wojciech & Pamukcu, Mehmet Teoman & Tandogan, Vedat Sinan, 2017. "Does government support for private innovation matter? Firm-level evidence from two catching-up countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 219-237.
    11. Leandro D�Aurizio & Marco Marinucci, 2013. "Italian firms� innovation strategies in 2008-2010," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 197, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    12. Isabel Bodas Freitas & Fulvio Castellacci & Roberto Fontana & Franco Malerba & Andrea Vezzulli, 2015. "The additionality effects of R&D tax credits across sectors: A cross-country microeconometric analysis," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20150424, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    13. Syoum Negassi & Jean-Francois Sattin, 2014. "Evaluation of Public R&D Policy: A Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers 14-09, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    14. Dezhina, Irina & Simachev, Yuri, 2012. "Partnering universities and companies in Russia: effects of new government initiative," MPRA Paper 43622, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Michel Dumont, 2015. "Working Paper 05-15 - Evaluation of federal tax incentives for private R&D in Belgium: An update," Working Papers 1505, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    16. Hud, Martin & Hussinger, Katrin, 2015. "The impact of R&D subsidies during the crisis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1844-1855.

    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
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy


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