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Value for money? New microeconomic evidence on public R&D grants in Flanders

  • LOPES BENTO Cindy
  • CZARNITZKI Dirk

A significant amount of money is spent on programs to stimulate innovative activities. In this paper, we review the effects of a specific government-sponsored commercial R&D program from various angles. We start by evaluating whether we find positive effects of subsidies on R&D investment and R&D employment. Then, we analyze how the observed effects of subsidies on R&D intensity and employment vary over time, vary if the firm receives also support from other sources, vary depending on how many supported projects a single firm has at the same time or vary if a firm gets support consecutively. Finally, we estimate the macroeconomic impact of these grants in terms of R&D employment. We conclude that (i) the policies are not subject to full crowding out, (ii) the treatments effects are stable over time, (iii) receiving subsidies from other sources in addition to the program under evaluation does not decrease the estimated treatment effect, and (iv) receiving grants repeatedly does not decrease the magnitude of the treatment effects either. Using a back-of-the envelope calculation, we estimate that, on average, five R&D jobs are created (or maintained) per supported project in the Flemish economy.

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Paper provided by LISER in its series LISER Working Paper Series with number 2012-19.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2012-19
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  1. Bronwyn Hall, 2004. "The financing of research and development," Chapters, in: Financial Systems, Corporate Investment in Innovation, and Venture Capital, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  2. CZARNITZKI Dirk & LOPES BENTO Cindy, 2010. "Evaluation of public R&D policies: A cross-country comparison," LISER Working Paper Series 2010-31, LISER.
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  4. Katrin Hussinger, 2008. "R&D and subsidies at the firm level: an application of parametric and semiparametric two-step selection models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 729-747.
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  8. 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).
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  11. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hottenrott, Hanna & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2009. "Industrial research versus development investment: the implications of financial constraints," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-049, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Almus, Matthias & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2003. "The Effects of Public R&D Subsidies on Firms' Innovation Activities: The Case of Eastern Germany," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(2), pages 226-36, April.
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  15. Dirk Czarnitzki & Georg Licht, 2006. "Additionality of public R&D grants in a transition economy," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(1), pages 101-131, 03.
  16. Giovanni Cerulli, 2010. "Modelling and Measuring the Effect of Public Subsidies on Business R&D: A Critical Review of the Econometric Literature," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(274), pages 421-449, 09.
  17. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  18. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Earnings and Employment Effects of Continuous Off-the-Job Training in East Germany after Unification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 74-90, January.
  22. Dirk Czarnitzki & Cindy Lopes-Bento, 2014. "Innovation Subsidies: Does the Funding Source Matter for Innovation Intensity and Performance? Empirical Evidence from Germany," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5), pages 380-409, July.
  23. Gerfin, Michael & Lechner, Michael, 2000. "Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 154, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Bronwyn H. Hall & Alessandro Maffioli, 2008. "Evaluating the Impact of Technology Development Funds in Emerging Economies: Evidence from Latin-America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 24638, Inter-American Development Bank.
  25. Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 297.
  26. Xulia González & Jordi Jaumandreu & Consuelo Pazó, 2001. "Barriers to innovation and subsidy e¤ectiveness," Working Papers 0112, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
  27. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
  28. Bronwyn H. Hall & Alessandro Maffioli, 2008. "Evaluating the Impact of Technology Development Funds in Emerging Economies: Evidence from Latin America," OVE Working Papers 0108, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
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  30. DUGUET Emmanuel, 2004. "Are R&D subsidies a substitute or a complement to privately funded R&D? Evidence from France using propensity score methods for non- experimental data," Public Economics 0411007, EconWPA.
  31. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hussinger, Katrin, 2004. "The Link Between R&D Subsidies, R&D Spending and Technological Performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-56, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  32. Aerts, Kris & Schmidt, Tobias, 2006. "Two for the price of one? On additionality effects of R&D subsidies: A comparison between Flanders and Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-63, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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