The use of R&D grants as a policy instrument has been motivated by economic arguments of market failure. Neo-classical econometric studies have analysed the additionality of one Euro of subsidies on both the investments of companies in the R&D process and the output of that R&D process. More recently, behavioural additionality has been launched as a third form of additionality. In contrast to input and output additionality, behavioural additionality is related to changes in the processes that take place within the firm. In this paper, we analyse the determinants of the behavioural additionality of R&D grants. To explain the mechanism through which behavioural additionality is obtained, we use organizational learning theory as a guide to formulate our hypotheses. Hypotheses are tested using a telephone survey of 192 recipients of R&D grants provided by the IWT in Flanders in 2001-2004, matched to a sample of 84 firms that undertake innovation activities but which had never had a grant bid accepted. We find that congenital learning and interorganizational learning lead to increased behavioural additionality. However, these learning effects decrease with the number of subsidized projects that are undertaken by the company.

Behavioural additionality, Innovation, Learning, R&D policy,
Research Policy
Erasmus School of Economics

Clarysse, B, Wright, D.M, & Mustar, P. (2009). Behavioural additionality of R&D subsidies: A learning perspective. Research Policy, 38(10), 1517–1533. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2009.09.003