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Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) Discussion Papers, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

No 2014/18:
Estimating the additionality of R&D subsidies using proposal evaluation data to control for research intentions

Morten S. Henningsen (), Torbjørn Hægeland () and Jarle Møen ()

Abstract: Empirical examination of whether R&D subsidies crowd out private investments has been hampered by selection problems. A particular worry is that project quality and research intentions may be correlated with the likelihood of receiving subsidies. Using proposal evaluation data to control for research intentions, we do not find strong evidence suggesting that this type of selection creates a severe bias. Proposal evaluation grades strongly predict R&D investments and reduce selection bias in cross-sectional regressions, but there is limited variation in grades within firms over time. Hence, in our sample, unobserved project quality is largely absorbed by firm fixed effects. Our best estimate of the shortrun additionality of R&D subsidies is 1.15, i.e., a oneunit increase in subsidy increases total R&D expenditure in the recipient firm by somewhat more than a unit. We demonstrate, however, that there is measurement error in the subsidy variable. Additionality is therefore likely to be underestimated.

Keywords: Technology policy; R&D subsidies; input additionality; selection; proxy variables; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: H25; H32; L53; O32; O38; (follow links to similar papers)

26 pages, April 30, 2014

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