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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5449
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  1. Ulf von Kalckreuth, 2003. "Exploring the role of uncertainty for corporate investment decisions in Germany," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(II), pages 173-206, June.
  2. Hyytinen, Ari & Toivanen, Otto, 2003. "Do Financial Constraints Hold Back Innovation and Growth? Evidence on the Role of Public Policy," Discussion Papers 820, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  3. Carruth, Alan & Dickerson, Andrew & Henley, Andrew, 2000. " What Do We Know about Investment under Uncertainty?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 119-53, April.
  4. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2003. "The Financing of Research and Development," Finance 0303003, EconWPA.
  5. John V. Leahy & Toni M. Whited, 1995. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," NBER Working Papers 4986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Paul A. David & Bronwyn H. Hall & Andrew A. Toole, 2000. "Is Public R&D a Complement or Substitute for Private R&D? A Review of the Econometric Evidence," Development and Comp Systems 9912002, EconWPA.
  8. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  9. Lach, Saul, 2002. "Do R&D Subsidies Stimulate or Displace Private R&D? Evidence from Israel," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 369-90, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Almus, Matthias & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2001. "The effects of public R&D subsidies on firms' innovation activities: the case of Eastern Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-10, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Pindyck, Robert S, 1988. "Irreversible Investment, Capacity Choice, and the Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 969-85, December.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521331494 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Dirk Czarnitzki & Georg Licht, 2006. "Additionality of public R&D grants in a transition economy," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(1), pages 101-131, 03.
  15. Luigi Guiso & Giuseppe Parigi, 1999. "Investment And Demand Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 185-227, February.
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  17. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
  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. Michael Kremer, 2001. "Creating Markets for New Vaccines - Part II: Design Issues," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 73-118 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Michael Kremer, 2001. "Creating Markets for New Vaccines - Part I: Rationale," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 35-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-27, November.
  22. 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-.
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