Do public funds stimulate firms’ productivity? Is public R&D spending complementary to private R&D spending or a substitute for it? These questions still generate conflicting opinions and heterogeneity in empirical results across countries. Generally, in the empirical literature the effects are measured in terms of input additionality. In this paper, we investigate the causal relationship between public funds and effects in terms of both financial and performance indicators, so extending the existing literature. Combining open data on national and EU Cohesion policy (OpenCoesione) and financial data (Aida-Bureau Van Dick), we provide evidence on the impact in a region of southern Italy classified as less developed by the EU. To verify the effects we implement a two-step process: a bias-corrected matching procedure to create our counterfactual, followed by a Sample Average Treatment on Treated (SATT) to estimate the effects. The results reveal a positive and non-transitory significant impact of European Structural Funds on input and output variables for subsidised firms.
Keywords: R&I, bias-adjusted matching, SATT, Evaluation, Open data
Jel Code: L2, L52, O3, C3