Public R&D investment in economic crises

Pellens, Maikel ; Peters, Bettina ; Hud, Martin ; Rammer, Christian ; Licht, Georg

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-587840
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2020
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 20-088
Place of publication: Mannheim
Edition: Version November 2020
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: O38 , H50 , H12 , E32,
Keywords (English): R&D , public policy , business cycle
Abstract: We study the cyclicality of public R&D in 28 OECD countries (1995 – 2017). While procyclical on average, public R&D reacts asymmetrically over different phases of the business cycle and becomes acyclical during recessions. It is also heterogeneous across countries: Innovation leaders and followers behave countercyclically during recessions while moderate innovators behave procyclically. Furthermore, the share of public R&D allocated to the business sector is countercyclical, but the thematic composition remains stable. These results, not driven by countries’ financial constraints, imply that countries behind the innovation frontier might strengthen their resilience to economic crises by adopting countercyclical R&D strategies.

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