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Technological Intensity of Government Demand and Innovation

  • Viktor Slavtchev
  • Simon Wiederhold


Governments purchase everything from airplanes to zucchini. This paper investigates whether the technological intensity of government demand affects corporate R&Dactivities. In a quality-ladder model of endogenous growth, we show that an increase in the share of government purchases in high-tech industries increases the rewards for innovation, and stimulates private-sector R&D at the aggregate level. We test this prediction using administrative data on federal procurement performed in US states. Both panel fixed effects and instrumental variable estimations provide results in line with the model. Our findings bring public procurement within the realm of the innovation policy debate.

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Paper provided by Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series Ifo Working Paper Series with number Ifo Working Paper No. 135.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_135
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Linn, 2004. "Market Size in Innovation: Theory and Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1049-1090, August.
  2. Guido Cozzi & Giammario Impullitti, 2008. "Government spending composition, technical change and wage inequality," Working Papers 2009_02, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  3. Alvarez, R Michael & Saving, Jason L, 1997. " Congressional Committees and the Political Economy of Federal Outlays," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 92(1-2), pages 55-73, July.
  4. Christopher J. Nekarda & Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Industry Evidence on the Effects of Government Spending," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 36-59, January.
  5. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2005. "Allocating the US federal budget to the states: the impact of the President," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3611, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Daniel J. Wilson, 2009. "Beggar Thy Neighbor? The In-State, Out-of-State, and Aggregate Effects of R&D Tax Credits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 431-436, May.
  7. Antonio Minniti & Carmelo Parello & Paul Segerstrom, 2013. "A Schumpeterian growth model with random quality improvements," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 755-791, March.
  8. Aschhoff, Birgit & Sofka, Wolfgang, 2008. "Innovation on Demand: Can Public Procurement Drive Market Success of Innovations," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-052, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Grossman, Philip J, 1994. " A Political Theory of Intergovernmental Grants," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 78(3-4), pages 295-303, March.
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