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Assessing the Impact of Public Support on Innovative Productivity


  • Alessandra Catozzella

    () (DISCE, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Marco Vivarelli

    () (DISCE, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)


Previous policy evaluation literature mainly aimed at estimating the additional effect of public support on either firms’ innovative inputs or innovative outputs. This paper is an attempt to move one step further, combining the two (input and output) dimensions of innovation into a unique efficiency perspective. To this aim, the impact of public support on the ratio between innovative sales and innovative expenditures (innovative productivity) is estimated using a sample of firm-level data drawn from the third Italian Community Innovation Survey (CIS). A bivariate endogenous switching model has been developed in order to free the analysis of any ex ante sources of sample selection and firm heterogeneity, at the same time getting rid of the two sources of endogeneity potentially affecting the results, i.e. the possible simultaneity between subsidy allocation and the qualitative composition of the innovative output, as well as the endogeneity of public support with respect to innovative performance. Results show that innovative productivity is negatively affected by the public support ; far from ‘doing better’ as a result of government intervention, supported firms appear to exhaust their advantage through merely increasing their innovative expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra Catozzella & Marco Vivarelli, 2011. "Assessing the Impact of Public Support on Innovative Productivity," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises1177, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie2:dises1177

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles Bérubé & Pierre Mohnen, 2009. "Are firms that receive R&D subsidies more innovative?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 206-225, February.
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    3. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
    4. Leland, Hayne E & Pyle, David H, 1977. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 371-387, May.
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    6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
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    9. Conte, Andrea & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "One or Many Knowledge Production Functions? Mapping Innovative Activity Using Microdata," IZA Discussion Papers 1878, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Garcia, Abraham & Mohnen, Pierre, 2010. "Impact of government support on R&D and innovation," MERIT Working Papers 034, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    11. Andrea Conte, 2009. "Mapping innovative activity using microdata," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(18), pages 1795-1799.
    12. Isabel Busom, 2000. "An Empirical Evaluation of The Effects of R&D Subsidies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 111-148.
    13. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, March.
    14. Branstetter, Lee & Sakakibara, Mariko, 1998. "Japanese Research Consortia: A Microeconometric Analysis of Industrial Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 207-233, June.
    15. Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2002. "Research and development: financial constraints and the role of public funding for small and medium-sized enterprises," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-74, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dezhina, Irina & Simachev, Yuri, 2012. "Partnering universities and companies in Russia: effects of new government initiative," MPRA Paper 43622, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:kap:iaecre:v:21:y:2015:i:1:p:13-31 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    innovation subsidy; policy evaluation; product innovation; bivariate endogenous switching model;

    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
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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