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Picking the Winner? - Empirical Evidence on the Targeting of R&D Subsidies to Start-ups

Author

Listed:
  • Uwe Cantner

    () (Department of Economics, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena)

  • Sarah Kösters

    () (DFG RTG 1411 "The Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University of Jena)

Abstract

This paper investigates the allocation of R&D subsidies given to start-ups. Considering the coexistence of various R&D project schemes, we take an aggregate view and analyze the determinants of the receipt of (any) R&D subsidies within the first three business years of the start-ups. We argue that policymakers and funding authorities follow a strategy of "picking the winner". Analyzing a unique data set of start-ups in the East German state of Thuringia, we conduct logistic regressions and find ambiguous support. R&D subsidies are given to start-ups with innovative business ideas, especially academic spin-offs. On the other hand, the ambitions and the patent stock of the founder(s) do not decide the receipt of R&D subsidies. These insights into the overall allocation of R&D subsidies are important since they have implications for policy effectiveness and efficiency. The implied difficulties of policy targeting fundamentally question the massive subsidization of private R&D.

Suggested Citation

  • Uwe Cantner & Sarah Kösters, 2009. "Picking the Winner? - Empirical Evidence on the Targeting of R&D Subsidies to Start-ups," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-093, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2009-093
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonelli, Cristiano & Crespi, Francesco, 2013. "The "Matthew effect" in R&D public subsidies: The Italian evidence," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 80(8), pages 1523-1534.
    2. Stjepan Srhoj & Bruno Skrinjaric & Sonja Radas, 2018. "Bidding against the odds? The impact evaluation of grants for young micro and small firms during the recession," Working Papers 1802, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
    3. Kwangsoo Shin & Gunno Park & Jae Young Choi & Minkyung Choy, 2017. "Factors Affecting the Survival of SMEs: A Study of Biotechnology Firms in South Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-18, January.
    4. Autio, Erkko & Rannikko, Heikki, 2016. "Retaining winners: Can policy boost high-growth entrepreneurship?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 42-55.
    5. Simachev, Yuri & Kuzyk, Mikhail & Ivanov, Denis, 2012. "Fostering innovation in Russian companies in the post-crisis period: Opportunities and constraints," MPRA Paper 41284, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Tom Broekel & Lars Mewes, 2017. "Analyzing the impact of R&D policy on regional diversification," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1726, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Sep 2017.
    7. Felipe Rojas & Elena Huergo, 2016. "Characteristics of entrepreneurs and public support for NTBFs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 363-382, August.
    8. Welter, Friederike & Levering, Britta & May-Strobl, Eva, 2016. "Mittelstandspolitik im Wandel," IfM-Materialien 247, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    9. Andreas Stephan, 2014. "Are public research spin-offs more innovative?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 353-368, August.
    10. McKelvie, Alexander & Brattström, Anna & Wennberg, Karl, 2013. "The Relationship Between Innovation and New Firm Growth," Ratio Working Papers 206, The Ratio Institute.
    11. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:10:p:1851-1862 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Dai, Xiaoyong & Cheng, Liwei, 2015. "The effect of public subsidies on corporate R&D investment: An application of the generalized propensity score," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 90(PB), pages 410-419.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Start-ups; R&D subsidies; Subsidy allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods

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