Heart of Darkness: Modeling Public-Private Funding Interactions Inside the R&D Black Box
This paper is a first step toward closing the analytical gap in the extensive literature on the results of interactions between public and private R&D expenditures, and their joint effects on the economy. Earlier studies frequently report contradictory estimates of the response of company financed R&D to changes in the level and nature of public R&D expenditure. A major cause of "inconsistencies" in the empirical literature is the failure to recognize key differences among the various policy "experiments" being considered depending upon the economy in which they are embedded, and the type of public sector R&D spending that is contemplated. Using a simple, stylized structural model, we identify the main channels of impact of public R&D and characterize the various effects, distinguishing between short-run and long-run impacts that would show up in simple regression analyses of nominal public and private R&D expenditure variables. We offer interpretations that shed light on recent cross-section and panel data findings at both high (i.e. national) and low (specific technology area) levels of aggregation.
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