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Business R&D and the Interplay of R&D Subsidies and Market Uncertainty

  • Czarnitzki, Dirk
  • Toole, Andrew A.

The literature suggests that public research and development (R&D) subsidies may reduce market failures affecting private R&D investment caused by incomplete appropriability of knowledge and financial constraints due capital market imperfections. Drawing on the theory of investment under uncertainty, this paper argues that public R&D subsidies increase business R&D investment through an additional mechanism – mitigating the effects of market uncertainty on R&D investment in markets for new products. Using a sample of German manufacturing firms, we show that market uncertainty indeed reduces R&D investment, and that R&D subsidies mitigate the effect of uncertainty. Our findings suggest that public policies aimed at increasing business R&D investment can achieve this objective by reducing the degree of uncertainty in the demand for innovative products.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 06-55.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5449
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  1. Hall, Bronwyn H., 2002. "The Financing of Research and Development," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt34c1c643, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Michael Kremer, 2000. "Creating Markets for New Vaccines Part I: Rationale," NBER Working Papers 7716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Almus, Matthias & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2003. "The Effects of Public R&D Subsidies on Firms' Innovation Activities: The Case of Eastern Germany," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(2), pages 226-36, April.
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  7. Paul A. David & Bronwyn H. Hall & Andrew A. Toole, 2005. "Is Public R&D a Complement or Substitute for Private R&D? A Review of the Econometric Evidence," Development and Comp Systems 0502011, EconWPA.
  8. 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.
  9. Pindyck, Robert S., 1986. "Irreversible investment, capacity choice, and the value of the firm," Working papers 1802-86., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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  11. Gourieroux,Christian, 2000. "Econometrics of Qualitative Dependent Variables," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521331494, November.
  12. Alan Carruth & Andy Dickerson & Andrew Henley, 1998. "What Do We Know About Investment Under Uncertainty?," Studies in Economics 9804, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  13. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  14. Dirk Czarnitzki, 2006. "Research And Development In Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises: The Role Of Financial Constraints And Public Funding," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(3), pages 335-357, 07.
  15. 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.
  16. Klette, T.J. & Moen, J. & Griliches, Z., 1999. "Do Subsidies to Commercial R&D Reduce Market Failures? Microeconometric Evaluation Studies," Papers 16/99, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  17. Michael Kremer, 2000. "Creating Markets for New Vaccines Part II: Design Issues," NBER Working Papers 7717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Holger Gorg & Eric Strobl, 2007. "The Effect of R&D Subsidies on Private R&D," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(294), pages 215-234, 05.
  19. Goel, Rajeev K. & Ram, Rati, 2001. "Irreversibility of R&D investment and the adverse effect of uncertainty: Evidence from the OECD countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 287-291, May.
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