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.
Does Partner Type Matter in R&D Collaboration for Environmental Innovation?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 5, 2013
In the literature on environmental innovations R&D collaborations have been identified as a critical determinant of a firm’s environmental innovation performance. However, the literature suggests that R&D collaboration is not always beneficial. Therefore, a more elaborated analysis of the effects of R&D collaborations on a firm’s environmental innovation performance is necessary. This paper investigates the impact of R&D col-laborations with different partner types such as customers, competitors, suppliers, uni-versities, governmental research institutes, consultants and other firms within the same firm group on a firm’s environmental innovation performance. In addition, this paper addresses the question of whether the diversity of R&D collaboration partners is im-portant for the environmental innovation performance. Firm-level data from 2,337 Ger-man service and manufacturing 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 signifi-cantly positive impact on a firm’s environmental innovation performance, whereas col-laboration 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.
Determinants of Evolutionary Change Processes in Innovation Networks – Empirical Evidence from the German Laser Industry
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 7, 2012
We seek to understand the relationship between network change determinants, network change processes at the micro level and structural consequences at the overall network level. Our conceptual framework considers three groups of determinants – organizational, relational and contextual. Selected factors within these groups are assumed to cause network change processes at the micro level – tie formations and tie terminations – and to shape the structural network configuration at the overall network level. We apply a unique longitudinal event history dataset based on the full population of 233 German laser source manufacturers and 570 publicly-funded cooperation projects to answer the following research question: What kind of exogenous or endogenous determinants affect a firm’s propensity and timing to cooperate and enter the network? Estimation results from a non-parametric event history model indicate that young micro firms enter the network later than small-sized and large firms. An in-depth analysis of the size effects for medium-sized firms provides some unexpected yet quite interesting findings. The choice of cooperation type makes no significant difference for the firms’ timing to enter the network. Finally, the analysis of contextual determinants shows that cluster membership can, but do not necessarily, affect a firm’s timing to cooperate.
Related Variety, Unrelated Variety and Regional Functions: Identifying Sources of Regional Employment Growth in Germany from 2003 to 2008
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 15, 2011
This article analyses how regional employment growth in Germany is affected by related variety, unrelated variety and the functions a region performs in the production process. Following the related variety literature, we argue that regions benefit from the existence of related activities that facilitate economic development. However, we argue that the sole reliance of related variety on standard industrial classifications remains debatable. Hence, we offer estimations for establishing that conceptual progress can indeed be made when a focus for analysis goes beyond solely considering industries. We develop an industry-function based approach of related and unrelated variety. Our findings suggest that related variety only in combination with a high functional specialization of the region facilitates regional growth in Germany. Additionally, also unrelated variety per se fails to wield influences affecting development of regions. It is rather unrelated, but functionally proximate variety in the groups “White Collar” and “Blue Collar Workers” positively affects regional employment growth.