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Estimating the additionality of R&D subsidies using proposal evaluation data to control for research intentions

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Empirical examination of whether R&D subsidies crowd out private investments has been hampered by selection problems. A particular worry is that project quality and research intentions may be correlated with the likelihood of receiving subsidies. Using proposal evaluation data to control for research intentions, we do not find strong evidence suggesting that this type of selection creates a severe bias. Proposal evaluation grades strongly predict R&D investments and reduce selection bias in cross-sectional regressions, but there is limited variation in grades within firms over time. Hence, in our sample, unobserved project quality is largely absorbed by firm fixed effects. Our best estimate of the shortrun additionality of R&D subsidies is 1.15, i.e., a oneunit increase in subsidy increases total R&D expenditure in the recipient firm by somewhat more than a unit. We demonstrate, however, that there is measurement error in the subsidy variable. Additionality is therefore likely to be underestimated.

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  • Henningsen, Morten S. & Hægeland, Torbjørn & Møen, Jarle, 2014. "Estimating the additionality of R&D subsidies using proposal evaluation data to control for research intentions," Discussion Papers 2014/18, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2014_018
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/194990
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    Keywords

    Technology policy; R&D subsidies; input additionality; selection; proxy variables;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • L53 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Enterprise Policy
    • 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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