Evaluation of Subsidy Programmes
This research group focuses on two main research questions: (i) What is the causal effect of cooperative innovation activities on the performance of firms and regions? (ii) What are the causal effects of public Research and Development (R&D) support schemes on the performance of firms and regions? The first research question concerns the dynamics of firms and regions as a result of their different innovation activities. We apply a micro-based integrative perspective on innovative activities which allows identifying causal effects of cooperative activities on specific outcomes (e. g., patent applications, scientific publications, employment growth, or productivity growth). Concerning the second research question, recent studies mainly focus on the evaluation of one specific subsidy scheme. Research in this group aims to overcome this shortcoming by considering various support schemes. Indicators for the firms’ success are (amongst others) patent applications and employment growth. The results allow insights for the future design of innovation support schemes.
Research ClusterInstitutions and Social Norms
09.2019 ‐ 09.2022
Establishing Evidence-based Evaluation Methods for Subsidy Programmes in Germany (EVA-KULT)
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The project aims at expanding the Centre for Evidence-based Policy Advice at the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH-CEP).
01.2018 ‐ 12.2020
Networked growth - Innovative Saxony-Anhalt through digital business models (Competence Center 4.0)
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI)
01.2017 ‐ 12.2018
Political Participation in Eastern Germany
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI)
12.2015 ‐ 11.2018
Socio-economic Effects of Research on Innovative Approaches for POC Diagnostics
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Part of the EXASENS project. Coordinated by the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) in Jena, nine Leibniz institutes are working together on researching point-of-care (POC) technology for the prediction and diagnosis of chronic inflammatory respiratory diseases. See press release.
02.2017 ‐ 02.2018
The Importance of Non-University Research Institutions for the Development of Firms and Regions (Be_For_Reg-Projekt)
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
01.2015 ‐ 12.2016
Evaluation of the "Joint Task 'Improving the Regional Economic Structure'" in the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt
The Impact of Innovation and Innovation Subsidies on Economic Development in German Regions
in: Regional Studies, No. 9, 2019
Public innovation subsidies in a regional environment are expected to unfold a positive economic impact over time. The focus of this paper is on an assessment of the long-run impact of innovation and innovation subsidies in German regions. This is scrutinized by an estimation approach combining panel model and time-series characteristics and using regional data for the years 1980–2014. The results show that innovation and innovation subsidies in the long run have a positive impact on the economic development of regions in Germany. This supports a long-term strategy for regional and innovation policy.
Vertical Grants and Local Public Efficiency
in: Public Finance Review, No. 3, 2019
The existing empirical literature on the impact of vertical grants on local public-sector efficiency yields mixed results. Given the fact that vertical financial equalization systems often reduce differences in fiscal capacity, we argue that empirical studies based on cross-sectional data may yield a positive relationship between grants and efficiency of public service production even when the underlying causal effect is not. We provide a simple illustrative theoretical model to show the logic of our argument and illustrate its relevance by an empirical case study for the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. We show that our main argument of an inference-disturbing effect applies to those existing studies that are more optimistic about the impact of vertical grants. Finally, we argue that it may disturb the inference drawn from studies in a number of other countries where vertical grants—intended or not—concentrate in fiscally weak municipalities.
Do Diasporas Affect Regional Knowledge Transfer within Host Countries? A Panel Analysis of German R&D Collaborations
in: Regional Studies, No. 1, 2019
Interactive regional learning involving various actors is considered a precondition for successful innovations and, hence, for regional development. Diasporas as non-native ethnic groups are regarded as beneficial since they enrich the creative class by broadening the cultural base and introducing new routines. Using data on research and development (R&D) collaboration projects, the analysis provides tentative evidence that the size of diasporas positively affects the region’s share of outward R&D linkages enabling the exchange of knowledge. The empirical analysis further confirms that these interactions mainly occur between regions hosting the same diasporas, pointing to a positive effect of ethnic proximity rather than ethnic diversity.
The Efficiency of Local Public-service Production: The Effect of Political Institutions
in: FinanzArchiv, No. 2, 2018
Reforms replacing municipal cooperations by centralized municipalities often aim at increasing municipal efficiency. Empirical evidence supporting this aim, however, is ambiguous. Our paper analyzes the effect of institutions on municipal efficiency. In particular, we distinguish two archetypal institutional settings, a centralized and a confederal one, and argue that bureaucrats in a centralized setting are able to increase the fiscal residual. Our empirical test case is the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. We test the effect of the institutional setup using the bootstrap approach suggested by Simar and Wilson (2007), concluding that a decentralized institutional setting improves the efficiency of municipal production.
Public Investment Subsidies and Firm Performance – Evidence from Germany
in: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, No. 2, 2018
This paper assesses firm-level effects of the single largest investment subsidy programme in Germany. The analysis considers grants allocated to firms in East German regions over the period 2007 to 2013 under the regional policy scheme Joint Task ‘Improving Regional Economic Structures’ (GRW). We apply a coarsened exact matching (CEM) in combination with a fixed effects difference-in-differences (FEDiD) estimator to identify the effects of programme participation on the treated firms. For the assessment, we use administrative data from the Federal Statistical Office and the Offices of the Länder to demonstrate that this administrative database offers a huge potential for evidence-based policy advice. The results suggest that investment subsidies have a positive impact on different dimensions of firm development, but do not affect overall firm competitiveness. We find positive short- and medium-run effects on firm employment. The effects on firm turnover remain significant and positive only in the medium-run. Gross fixed capital formation responses positively to GRW funding only during the mean implementation period of the projects but becomes insignificant afterwards. Finally, the effect of GRW-funding on labour productivity remains insignificant throughout the whole period of analysis.
flexpaneldid: A Stata Toolbox for Causal Analysis with Varying Treatment Time and Duration
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2020
The paper presents a modification of the matching and difference-in-differences approach of Heckman et al. (1998) for the staggered treatment adoption design and a Stata tool that implements the approach. This flexible conditional difference-in-differences approach is particularly useful for causal analysis of treatments with varying start dates and varying treatment durations. Introducing more flexibility enables the user to consider individual treatment periods for the treated observations and thus circumventing problems arising in canonical difference-in-differences approaches. The open-source flexpaneldid toolbox for Stata implements the developed approach and allows comprehensive robustness checks and quality tests. The core of the paper gives comprehensive examples to explain the use of the commands and its options on the basis of a publicly accessible data set.
Identifying Cooperation for Innovation – A Comparison of Data Sources
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 1, 2019
The value of social network analysis is critically dependent on the comprehensive and reliable identification of actors and their relationships. We compare regional knowledge networks based on different types of data sources, namely, co-patents, co-publications, and publicly subsidised collaborative Research and Development projects. Moreover, by combining these three data sources, we construct a multilayer network that provides a comprehensive picture of intraregional interactions. By comparing the networks based on the data sources, we address the problems of coverage and selection bias. We observe that using only one data source leads to a severe underestimation of regional knowledge interactions, especially those of private sector firms and independent researchers. The key role of universities that connect many regional actors is identified in all three types of data.
The Regional Effects of Professional Sports Franchises – Causal Evidence from Four European Football Leagues
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 10, 2018
We use the locational pattern of clubs in four major professional football leagues in Europe to test the causal effect of changes in premier league membership on regional employment and output growth at the NUTS 3 level. We rely on the relegation mode of the classical round-robin tournament in the European model of sport to develop a regression-discontinuity design. The results indicate small and significant negative short-term effects on regional employment and output in the sports-related economic sector when clubs are relegated from the premier division of the respective football league. In addition, we find small negative effects on overall regional employment growth. However, total regional gross value added remains unaffected, indicating that in the main it is the less productive jobs that disappear in the short-term.
Who Benefits from GRW? Heterogeneous Employment Effects of Investment Subsidies in Saxony Anhalt
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 27, 2017
The paper estimates the plant level employment effects of investment subsidies in one of the most strongly subsidized German Federal States. We analyze the treated plants as a whole, as well as the influence of heterogeneity in plant characteristics and the economic environment. Modifying the standard matching and difference-in-difference approach, we develop a new procedure that is particularly useful for the evaluation of funding programs with individual treatment phases within the funding period. Our data base combines treatment, employment and regional information from different sources. So, we can relate the absolute effects to the amount of the subsidy paid. The results suggest that investment subsidies have a positive influence on the employment development in absolute and standardized figures – with considerable effect heterogeneity.
Identifying the Effects of Place-based Policies – Causal Evidence from Germany
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 18, 2016
The German government provides discretionary investment grants to structurally weak regions to reduce regional disparities. We use a regression discontinuity design that exploits an exogenous discrete jump in the probability of receiving investment grants to identify the causal effects of the investment grant on regional outcomes. We find positive effects for regional gross value-added and productivity growth, but no effects for employment and gross wage growth.