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Grupo de Estudos Monetários e Financeiros

Estudos do GEMF, N.º 18 de 2012


Financial Constraints: Do They Matter to R&D Subsidy Attribution?

Filipe Silva
GEMF, Universidade de Coimbra

Carlos Carreira
Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra e GEMF

Even though innovation subsidies and financial constraints are two closely related lines of research, the link between them is rather unexplored. This paper is, to our knowledge, the first to explicitly analyse both the allocation of innovation subsidies and their role in alleviating firms’ financial constraints. It is not the purpose of the paper to question whether subsidies foster innovation, but rather if: a) subsidies are being correctly allocated to financially constrained firms; b) they effectively reduce financial constraints. We argue that, in addition to the usual “public good” arguments behind the allocation of innovation subsidies, the extent to which firms are able to obtain external funding should not be overlooked. Overall, our results question the allocation and effectiveness of subsidies in alleviating financial constraints of firms willing to innovate. Accordingly, these findings have serious implications on the design of future innovation policy actions.

JEL Classification: D92; G32; O38; L20.

R&D subsidies; Innovation; Financial constraints; Firm-level analysis; Portugal.

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