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Lobbying for Subsidies with Heterogeneous Firms

  • Kammerer, Hannes
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    Recent empirical evidence shows that the few firms that receive subsidies are large, and that large firms take a prominent role in shaping public policy by lobbying. In this paper, I present a theoretical framework that accounts for these empirical facts in a unified way. I study the role of firm heterogeneity in productivity for within-industry lobby formation when receiving subsidies and lobbying is costly. Due to firm heterogeneity, a within-industry conflict between receiving and non-receiving firms arises. This conflict creates lobbying incentives for large firms and delivers novel results. Surprisingly, increasing the barriers to lobby or lower firm heterogeneity amplifies this within-industry conflict such that a smaller lobby can attain a higher subsidy rate. Even if barriers to participate are modest, introducing a subsidy program harms particularly the smallest firms in a market.

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    Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79767.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79767
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    1. Jennifer Abel-Koch, 2013. "Endogenous Trade Policy with Heterogeneous Firms," Working Papers 1306, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, revised 01 Aug 2013.
    2. Blanes, J. Vicente & Busom, Isabel, 2004. "Who participates in R&D subsidy programs?: The case of Spanish manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1459-1476, December.
    3. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00282331 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    5. Aschhoff, Birgit, 2009. "Who Gets the Money? The Dynamics of R&D Project Subsidies in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-018 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln & Prachi Mishra, 2014. "The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1072, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    8. Svetlana Demidova & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "Trade Policy under Firm-Level Heterogeneity in a Small Economy," NBER Working Papers 13688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Vincent Rebeyrol & Julien Vauday, 2008. "Live or let die : intra-sectoral lobbying on entry," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00282331, HAL.
    10. Emmanuel Duguet, 2004. "Are RαD subsidies a substitute or a complement to privately funded RαD ?. An econometric analysis at the firm level," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 114(2), pages 245-274.
    11. Pflüger, Michael P. & Suedekum, Jens, 2009. "Subsidizing Firm Entry in Open Economies," IZA Discussion Papers 4384, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Chen, Hui & Parsley, David & Yang, Ya-wen, 2010. "Corporate Lobbying and Financial Performance," MPRA Paper 21114, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Bombardini, Matilde, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and lobby participation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 329-348, July.
    14. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
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