This paper investigates the allocation of R&D subsidies given to start-ups. Considering the coexistence of various R&D project schemes, we take an aggregate view and analyze the determinants of the receipt of (any) R&D subsidies within the first three business years of the start-ups. We argue that policymakers and funding authorities follow a strategy of “picking the winner”. Analyzing start-ups in the East German state of Thuringia, we conduct logistic regressions and find ambiguous support. R&D subsidies are given to start-ups with innovative business ideas, especially academic spin-offs. Although the ambitions and patent stock of the founder(s) do not decide the receipt of R&D subsidies, team start-ups and the initial capital of a start-up tend to affect this decision positively. Hence, we cannot exclude a “picking the winner” strategy in targeting R&D subsidies to start-ups. More generally, however, the problems of policy targeting question the massive subsidization of private R&D.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: May 6, 2011
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