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Selective subsidies, entrepreneurial founders' human capital, and access to R&D alliances

Luca Grilli () and Samuele Murtinu ()

Research Policy, 2018, vol. 47, issue 10, 1945-1963

Abstract: We investigate if and to what extent the receipt of a “selective” subsidy – a public subsidy awarded through a competitive procedure – helps new technology-based firms (NTBFs) to access R&D alliances. In particular, we theoretically enquire and empirically analyze which founding team-level characteristics allow NTBFs to: i) get a selective subsidy; and ii) access an R&D alliance with another firm or a public research organization/university, once the subsidy is awarded. We use a sample of 902 NTBFs that operate in Italy, where industrial policy has never had an explicit and exclusive mandate neither for targeting NTBFs nor for easing their access to R&D networks. By means of several identification strategies and estimation methods, our results point to the relevance of selective subsidies in facilitating NTBFs to enter R&D alliances, independently from the objective of the policy measure. Second, founders’ technical education figures as a key determinant to get the first selective subsidy. Finally, founders’ previous industry-specific work experience allows NTBFs to better exploit the selective subsidy, by positively moderating the impact of the subsidy on the likelihood to establish a corporate R&D alliance.

Keywords: New technology-based firms; Selective public subsidies; R&D alliances; Founders’; human capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H25 H81 L26 M13 M21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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