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Do Innovation Subsidies Make Chinese Firms More Innovative? Evidence from the China Employer Employee Survey

Author

Listed:
  • Hong Cheng
  • Hanbing Fan
  • Takeo Hoshi
  • Dezhuang Hu

Abstract

The Chinese government has been using various subsidies to encourage innovations by Chinese firms. This paper examines the allocation and impacts of innovation subsidies, using the data from the China Employer Employee Survey (CEES). We find that the innovation subsidies are preferentially allocated to state owned firms and politically connected firms. Of these two (state ownership and political connection), political connection is more important in determining the allocation. We also find that the firms that receive innovation subsidies file and receive more patents, are more likely to introduce new products, but do not necessarily file and receive more patents abroad. Finally, the firms that receive innovation subsidies do not have higher productivity, more profits, or larger market shares. Overall, the results point to inefficiency of allocation of innovation subsidies and show that the subsidies encourage only incremental innovations and not radical ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Hong Cheng & Hanbing Fan & Takeo Hoshi & Dezhuang Hu, 2019. "Do Innovation Subsidies Make Chinese Firms More Innovative? Evidence from the China Employer Employee Survey," NBER Working Papers 25432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25432
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    Cited by:

    1. Anders Gustafsson & Patrik Gustavsson Tingvall & Daniel Halvarsson, 2020. "Subsidy Entrepreneurs: an Inquiry into Firms Seeking Public Grants," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 439-478, September.
    2. Giuntella, Osea & Wang, Tianyi, 2019. "Is an Army of Robots Marching on Chinese Jobs?," IZA Discussion Papers 12281, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Jiang, Xiandeng & Kong, Dongming & Xiao, Chengrui, 2020. "Policy certainty and heterogeneous firm innovation: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O25 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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