The aim of this study is to measure the influence of different firm characteristics on the impact of the policy instruments, that can be heterogeneous. The empirical analysis is based on the policy instruments directed to subsidize private projects on R&D in Italy. We develop a new methodological framework for testing if firm characteristics can modify the sign and the level of the effects of public policy; we use a counterfactual approach and nonparametric methods able to identify and test the presence of heterogeneity of the effects compared to some specific dimensions of analysis. The results show that, although overall the policy instruments have modest efficacy, some features, such as to be an exporting firms or to have a internal research unit, affect the magnitude of the effects of the intervention.
Keywords: R&d; subsidies; heterogeneous treatment effects
Jel Code: L52, O31, O38