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Do R&D Subsidies Stimulate or Displace Private R&D? Evidence from Israel

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  • Saul Lach

Abstract

In evaluating the effect of an R&D subsidy we need to know what the subsidized firm would have spent on R&D had it not received the subsidy. Using data on Israeli manufacturing firms in the 1990s we find evidence suggesting that the R&D subsidies granted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade stimulated long-run company-financed R&D expenditures: their long-run elasticity with respect to R&D subsidies is 0.22. At the means of the data, an extra dollar of R&D subsidies increases long-run company-financed R&D expenditures by 41 cents (total R&D expenditures increase by 1.41 dollars). Although the magnitude of this effect is large enough to justify the existence of the subsidy program, it is lower than expected given the dollar-by-dollar matching upon which most subsidized projects are based. This less than full' effect reflects two forces: first, subsidies are sometimes granted to projects that would have been undertaken even in the absence of the subsidy and, second, firms adjust their portfolio of R&D projects-closing or slowing down non-subsidized projects-after the subsidy is received.

Suggested Citation

  • Saul Lach, 2000. "Do R&D Subsidies Stimulate or Displace Private R&D? Evidence from Israel," NBER Working Papers 7943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7943
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Isabel Busom, 2000. "An Empirical Evaluation of The Effects of R&D Subsidies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 111-148.
    3. David, Paul A. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Toole, Andrew A., 2000. "Is public R&D a complement or substitute for private R&D? A review of the econometric evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 497-529, April.
    4. Manuel Trajtenberg, 2000. "R&D Policy in Israel: An Overview and Reassessment," NBER Working Papers 7930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James J. Heckman, 1995. "Instrumental Variables: A Cautionary Tale," NBER Technical Working Papers 0185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    7. Klette, Tor Jakob & M√łen, Jarle, 2011. "R&D investment responses to R&D subsidies: A theoretical analysis and a microeconometric study," Discussion Papers 2011/15, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    8. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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