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Informational Rents and Discretionary Industrial Assistance


  • Wren, Colin

    (University of Newcastle upon Tyne)


The paper analyses the existence and efficiency of discretionary industrial assistance schemes under asymmetric information between an uninformed government and a uniform distribution of firms with differing productivities. Discretionary assistance allows the government to scrutinise projects in an effort to learn the type to reduce the 'informational rents' of automatic assistance, where firms take up any contract on offer. Two discretionary grant schemes are analysed, which either exclude 'non-additional' projects or reduce the assistance to the minimum necessary for a project to proceed. The paper finds the conditions under which discretionary assistance exists and is more efficient than automatic assistance.

Suggested Citation

  • Wren, Colin, 2003. "Informational Rents and Discretionary Industrial Assistance," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 222, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:222

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    2. Otto Toivanen & Michael Waterson, 2005. "Market Structure and Entry: Where's the Beef?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 680-699, Autumn.
    3. Richard W. Blundell & James L. Powell, 2004. "Endogeneity in Semiparametric Binary Response Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 655-679.
    4. Battisti, Giuliana & Stoneman, Paul, 2005. "The intra-firm diffusion of new process technologies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 1-22, February.
    5. Nancy L. Rose & Paul L. Joskow, 1990. "The Diffusion of New Technologies: Evidence from the Electric Utility Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 354-373, Autumn.
    6. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-1441, November.
    7. Geroski, P. A., 2000. "Models of technology diffusion," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 603-625, April.
    8. Hannan, Timothy H & McDowell, John M, 1984. "Market Concentration and the Diffusion of New Technology in the Banking Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(4), pages 686-691, November.
    9. Massoud Karshenas & Paul L. Stoneman, 1993. "Rank, Stock, Order, and Epidemic Effects in the Diffusion of New Process Technologies: An Empirical Model," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(4), pages 503-528, Winter.
    10. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Peter C. Reiss, 1987. "Do Entry Conditions Vary across Markets?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3, Specia), pages 833-882.
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    Cited by:

    1. Girma, Sourafel & Görg, Holger & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2008. "Creating jobs through public subsidies: An empirical analysis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1179-1199, December.

    More about this item


    subsidies; asymmetric information; discretionary assistance; investment grants;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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