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.

IWH Subsidy Database

Centre for Evidence-based Policy Advice (IWH-CEP)

Research Cluster
Institutions and Social Norms

Your contact

PD Dr Mirko Titze
PD Dr Mirko Titze
Mitglied - Department Präsidialbereich
Send Message +49 345 7753-861


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).

PD Dr Mirko Titze

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)

PD Dr Mirko Titze

01.2017 ‐ 12.2018

Political Participation in Eastern Germany

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWI)

Dr Matthias Brachert

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.

Dr Matthias Brachert

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)

PD Dr Mirko Titze

01.2015 ‐ 12.2016

Evaluation of the "Joint Task 'Improving the Regional Economic Structure'" in the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt

Investitionsbank Sachsen-Anhalt

PD Dr Mirko Titze

Refereed Publications


The Structure and Evolution of Inter-sectoral Technological Complementarity in R&D in Germany from 1990 to 2011

T. Broekel Matthias Brachert

in: Journal of Evolutionary Economics, No. 4, 2015


Technological complementarity is argued to be a crucial element for effective R&D collaboration. The real structure is, however, still largely unknown. Based on the argument that organizations’ knowledge resources must fit for enabling collective learning and innovation, we use the co-occurrence of firms in collaborative R&D projects in Germany to assess inter-sectoral technological complementarity between 129 sectors. The results are mapped as complementarity space for the Germany economy. The space and its dynamics from 1990 to 2011 are analyzed by means of social network analysis. The results illustrate sectors being complements both from a dyadic and portfolio/network perspective. This latter is important, as complementarities may only become fully effective when integrated in a complete set of different knowledge resources from multiple sectors. The dynamic perspective moreover reveals the shifting demand for knowledge resources among sectors at different time periods.

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R&D Cooperation with Scientific Institutions: A Difference-in-difference Approach

Gunnar Pippel V. Seefeld

in: Economics of Innovation and New Technology, No. 5, 2016


Economists and business managers have long been interested in the impact of research and development (R&D) cooperation with scientific institutions on the innovation performance of firms. Recent research identifies a positive correlation between these two variables. This paper aims to contribute to the identification of the relationship between R&D cooperation with scientific institutions and the product and process innovation performance of firms by using a difference-in-difference approach. In doing so, we distinguish between two different types of scientific institutions: universities and governmental research institutes. For the econometric analyses, we use data from the German Community Innovation Survey. In total, data from up to 560 German service and manufacturing firms are available for the difference-in-difference analyses. The results suggest that R&D cooperation with universities and governmental research institutes has a positive effect on both product innovation and process innovation performance of firms.

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On the Trail of Core–periphery Patterns in Innovation Networks: Measurements and New Empirical Findings from the German Laser Industry

Wilfried Ehrenfeld Toralf Pusch Muhamed Kudic

in: The Annals of Regional Science, No. 1, 2015


It has been frequently argued that a firm’s location in the core of an industry’s innovation network improves its ability to access information and absorb technological knowledge. The literature has still widely neglected the role of peripheral network positions for innovation processes. In addition to this, little is known about the determinants affecting a peripheral actors’ ability to reach the core. To shed some light on these issues, we have employed a unique longitudinal dataset encompassing the entire population of German laser source manufacturers (LSMs) and laser-related public research organizations (PROs) over a period of more than two decades. The aim of our paper is threefold. First, we analyze the emergence of core–periphery (CP) patterns in the German laser industry. Then, we explore the paths on which LSMs and PROs move from isolated positions toward the core. Finally, we employ non-parametric event history techniques to analyze the extent to which organizational and geographical determinates affect the propensity and timing of network core entries. Our results indicate the emergence and solidification of CP patterns at the overall network level. We also found that the paths on which organizations traverse through the network are characterized by high levels of heterogeneity and volatility. The transition from peripheral to core positions is impacted by organizational characteristics, while an organization’s geographical location does not play a significant role.

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R&D Collaboration for Environmental Innovation

Gunnar Pippel

in: International Journal of Innovation Management, No. 1, 2015


The literature on the impact of R&D collaboration on environmental innovation performance of firms suggests that R&D collaboration is not always beneficial. Therefore, a more detailed analysis of the effects of R&D collaboration is necessary. This paper investigates the impact of R&D collaboration with different partner types on a firm’s environmental innovation performance. In addition, the paper addresses the question of whether the diversity of R&D collaboration partners is important to environmental innovation performance. Firm-level data from 2337 German firms are used in the regression analysis. The results suggest that R&D collaboration with suppliers, customers, universities, governmental research institutes, consultants and other firms within the same firm group has a significant positive impact on a firm’s environmental innovation performance, whereas collaboration with competitors has no significant impact. The diversity of R&D collaboration partners has a significantly positive impact on a firm’s environmental innovation performance.

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Drivers of the Spatial Emergence and Clustering of the Photovoltaic Industry in Germany

M. Breul T. Broekel Matthias Brachert

in: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, No. 3, 2015


The drivers of the spatial emergence and clustering of the photovoltaic industry in Germany. Following the relatedness literature, we explore to what extent related industries influenced the regional emergence of the photovoltaic (PV) industry. In addition, we shed light on factors explaining selective processes of clustering. We particularly argue that generic resources and resources of related activities have been crucial for the regional concentration in early phases of the industry life cycle. With increasing maturity, industry-specific resources became more important. Based on a unique dataset containing population dynamics of the German PV industry, the hypotheses are tested empirically. Our results partially confirm the assumed beneficial effects of related industries for the emergence of the PV industry. Moreover, we observe changes in the relative importance of factors supporting regional concentration, with industry-specific resources becoming dominant as the industry matures.

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Working Papers


flexpaneldid: A Stata Toolbox for Causal Analysis with Varying Treatment Time and Duration

Eva Dettmann Alexander Giebler Antje Weyh

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.

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Identifying Cooperation for Innovation – A Comparison of Data Sources

Michael Fritsch Matthias Piontek Mirko Titze

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.

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Who Benefits from GRW? Heterogeneous Employment Effects of Investment Subsidies in Saxony Anhalt

Eva Dettmann Mirko Titze Antje Weyh

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.

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Identifying the Effects of Place-based Policies – Causal Evidence from Germany

Eva Dettmann Matthias Brachert Mirko Titze

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.

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Do Manufacturing Firms Benefit from Services FDI? – Evidence from Six New EU Member States

J. Damijan Crt Kostevc Philipp Marek Matija Rojec

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 5, 2015


This paper focuses on the effect of foreign presence in the services sector on the productivity growth of downstream customers in the manufacturing sector in six EU new member countries in the course of their accession to the European Union. For this purpose, the analysis combines firm-level information, data on economic structures and annual national input-output tables. The findings suggest that services FDI may enhance productivity of manufacturing firms in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries through vertical forward spillovers, and thereby contribute to their competitiveness. The consideration of firm characteristics shows that the magnitude of spillover effects depends on size, ownership structure, and initial productivity level of downstream firms as well as on the diverging technological intensity across sector on the supply and demand side. The results suggest that services FDI foster productivity of domestic rather than foreign controlled firms in the host economy. For the period between 2003 and 2008, the findings suggest that the increasing share of services provided by foreign affiliates enhanced the productivity growth of domestic firms in manufacturing by 0.16%. Furthermore, the firms’ absorptive capability and the size reduce the spillover effect of services FDI on the productivity of manufacturing firms. A sectoral distinction shows that firms at the end of the value chain experience a larger productivity growth through services FDI, whereas the aggregate positive effect seems to be driven by FDI in energy supply. This does not hold for science-based industries, which are spurred by foreign presence in knowledge-intensive business services.

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