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Do Subsidies to Commercial R&D Reduce Market Failures? Microeconomic Evaluation Studies

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  • Tor Jakob Klette
  • Jarle Møen
  • Zvi Griliches

Abstract

A number of market failures have been associated with R&D investments and significant amounts of public money have been spent on programs to stimulate innovative activities. In this paper, we review some recent microeconomic studies evaluating effects of government sponsored commercial R&D. We pay particular attention to the conceptual problems involved. Neither the firms receiving support, nor those not applying, constitute random samples. Furthermore, those not receiving support may be affected by the programs due to spillover effects which often are a main justification for R&D subsidies. Constructing a valid control group under these circumstances is challenging, and we relate our discussion to recent advances in econometric methods for evaluation studies based on non-experimental data. We also discuss some analytical questions that need to be addressed in order to assess whether R&D support schemes can be justified. For instance, what are the implication of firms' R&D investments being complementary to each other, and to what extent are potential R&D spillovers internalized in the market?

Suggested Citation

  • Tor Jakob Klette & Jarle Møen & Zvi Griliches, 1999. "Do Subsidies to Commercial R&D Reduce Market Failures? Microeconomic Evaluation Studies," NBER Working Papers 6947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6947 Note: PR
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    Cited by:

    1. Karl Aiginger & Michael Landesmann, 2002. "Competitive Economic Performance: The European View," WIFO Working Papers 179, WIFO.
    2. James D. Adams & Eric P. Chiang & Jeffrey L. Jensen, 2003. "The Influence of Federal Laboratory R&D on Industrial Research," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1003-1020, November.
    3. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Licht, Georg, 2004. "Die Rolle der Innovationsförderung im Aufholprozess Ostdeutschlands," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-68, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Venetoklis, Takis & Kangasharju, Aki, 2002. "Business Subsidies and Employment of Firms: Overall Evaluation and Regional Extension," Discussion Papers 268, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
    5. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge Spillovers and Local Innovation Systems: A Critical Survey," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, pages 975-1005.
    6. Hyytinen, Ari & Toivanen, Otto, 2005. "Do financial constraints hold back innovation and growth?: Evidence on the role of public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1385-1403, November.
    7. Sanghoon Ahn, 2004. "Global Competition, Technology Spillovers and Firm Dynamics:," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 793, Econometric Society.
    8. Tomas Philipson, 1999. "External Treatment Effects and Program Implementation Bias," Working Papers 9929, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    9. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of research grant funding on scientific productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1168-1177, October.
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    15. repec:idb:idbbks:460 is not listed on IDEAS
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    17. Joshua Gans & Scott Stern, 2003. "When does funding research by smaller firms bear fruit?: Evidence from the SBIR program," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 361-384.
    18. Tuomas Takalo & Tanja Tanayama & Otto Toivanen, 2005. "Selection Or Self-Rejection? Applications Into A Treatment," Industrial Organization 0510002, EconWPA.
    19. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Fier, Andreas, 2001. "Do R&D subsidies matter? Evidence for the German service sector," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-19, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    20. Elisa Barbieri & Roberto Iorio & Giuseppe Lubrano Lavadera, 2010. "Incentivi alla ricerca e sviluppo in Italia: una indagine sugli effetti della Legge 46/82," Working Papers 1003, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
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    22. Bronzini, Raffaello & de Blasio, Guido, 2006. "Evaluating the impact of investment incentives: The case of Italy's Law 488/1992," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 327-349, September.
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    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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