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Assessing the relationship between R&D subsidy, R&D cooperation and absorptive capacity: an investigation on the manufacturing Spanish case

Manuel Guisado-González (), Jennifer González-Blanco (), José Luís Coca-Pérez () and Manuel Guisado-Tato ()
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Manuel Guisado-González: University of Extremadura
Jennifer González-Blanco: Av. De la Universidad, s/n
José Luís Coca-Pérez: University of Extremadura
Manuel Guisado-Tato: University of Vigo

The Journal of Technology Transfer, 2018, vol. 43, issue 6, 1647-1666

Abstract: Abstract Private companies want to eliminate outgoing spillovers while policymakers seek to maximize them. With subsidized R&D cooperation agreements both agents partially achieve their objectives. For this reason, in Europe, policymakers grant subsidies for R&D activities with the condition of establishing R&D cooperation agreements. This study explores the relationship of complementarity between R&D subsidy, R&D cooperation and absorptive capacity in the context of its contribution to labor productivity of enterprises. The data used comes from the Technological Innovation Panel (PITEC), managed by the Spanish National Statistics Institute. We selected manufacturing companies in the period 2008–2013. We evaluate the existence of complementarity through the systems approach and the interaction approach. The econometric technique that we used to estimate the coefficients of our empirical model was maximum-likelihood random effects. As a consequence of the low absorptive capacity of Spanish manufacturing firms we find that R&D subsidies and R&D cooperation agreements are not complementary variables, i.e., receiving public subsidies as a result of establishing R&D cooperation agreements has a lower impact on productivity than the sum of the individual impacts of R&D cooperation and R&D subsidies. In consequence, this result calls into question the convenience of using subsidized R&D cooperation agreements as a tool for promoting innovation in EU countries as there are notable differences between the companies in these countries in terms of absorption capacity.

Keywords: R&D cooperation; R&D subsidy; Absorptive capacity; Complementarity approach (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C12 O31 O32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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