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The impact of R&D subsidies on firm innovation

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  • Raffaello Bronzini

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Paolo Piselli

    () (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of an R&D subsidy program implemented in a region of northern Italy on innovation by beneficiary firms. In order to verify whether the subsidies enabled firms to increase patenting activity, we exploit the mechanism used to allot the funds. Since only projects that scored above a certain threshold received the subsidy, we use a sharp regression discontinuity design to compare the number of patent applications, and the probability of submitting one, of subsidized firms with those of unsubsidized firms close to the cut-off. We find that the program had a significant impact on the number of patents, more markedly in the case of smaller firms. Our results show that the program was also successful in increasing the probability of applying for a patent, but only in the case of smaller firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Raffaello Bronzini & Paolo Piselli, 2014. "The impact of R&D subsidies on firm innovation," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 960, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_960_14
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    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. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Adam Jaffe & Trinh Le, 2015. "The impact of R&D subsidy on innovation: a study of New Zealand firms," Working Papers 15_08, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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).
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:7:p:1256-1266 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:125-137 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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.
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    18. 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.
    19. 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

    research and development; investment incentives; regression discontinuity design; patents;

    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

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