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Government Financing of R&D: A Mechanism Design Approach

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  • Lach, Saul
  • Neeman, Zvika
  • Schankerman, Mark

Abstract

We study the design of a government loan program for risky R&D projects that generate positive externalities, undertaken by entrepreneurs in a competitive capital market environment. With adverse selection, the optimal contract requires a high interest rate but nearly zero co-financing by the entrepreneur. This contrasts sharply with observed policies, typified by a low interest rate and high co-finanacing requirement. When we add moral hazard (endogenous success), the optimal policy consists of a menu of at most two contracts, one with high interest/zero self-finanacing and a second with a lower interest but also a co-finanacing requirement. Calibrated simulations compare the optimal policy and observed program designs in terms of innovation and welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Lach, Saul & Neeman, Zvika & Schankerman, Mark, 2017. "Government Financing of R&D: A Mechanism Design Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 12199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12199
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    additionality; entrepreneurship; government nance; innovation; mechanism design; R&D; start-ups;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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