Industrial policy: Political considerations, payoffs, and peculiar incentives

Anders Gustafsson, Företagandets villkor, Företagsstöd, Forska hos Ratio, Institutionell ekonomi, Kapitalmarknader, Public Choice, Subventioner


This thesis consists of four independent papers. They deal with some aspects of industrial policy, namely public supports to firms that are intended to support innovation and growth at the firm level, using Swedish data. Two papers study the efficiency of current Swedish policies by estimating the effects of subsidies and public loans to firms, respectively.
The results on subsidized firms suggests that there are some positive effects on profits and productivity, but these diminish and disappear over time. The results of public loans are more positive with long lasting effects on productivity and sales but only for smaller firms. Public loans do not lead to an increase in the number of employees in the firms that receive them.
The third paper studies the selection of firms for subsidies and the incentives firms have to seek them. By modeling the decision to seek subsidies as a trade off between producing in the market and seeking grants, the results suggest that firms with low market productivity might self-select into seeking grants. The empirical results are in line with the theoretical predictions.
The final paper studies the incentives that politicians have to implement programs and policies that they know will be inefficient. Since a lack of political action can make the politicians look incompetent, incumbentens have incentives to implement policies even though they know that these will be ineffective, to signal competence towards the voters.

Gustafsson, Anders:Högskolan i Jönköping, Internationella Handelshögskolan, IHH, Nationalekonomi. ORCID-id: 0000-0002-9173-8347

Liknande innehåll

Subsidy Entrepreneurs: An Inquiry into firms seeking public grants
Artikel (in press)Publikation
Halvarsson, D, Gustafsson, A. & Gustavsson Tingvall, P.



This paper studies the incentives and characteristics of firms that apply for, and eventually receive, one or multiple governmental grants intended to stimulate innovation and growth. The analysis departs from a contest model in which entrepreneurs are free to allocate their effort between production and seeking grants. The results suggest that highly productive entrepreneurs abstain from seeking grants, moderately productive firms allocate a share of their effort to grant seeking, and low-productivity firms allocate most resources to seeking grants. Due to their efforts in seeking grants, these low-productive subsidy entrepreneurs also have a relatively high probability of receiving the grants. Using comprehensive data over grants from the three largest grant-distributing agencies in Sweden, we find concordant evidence of a negative relation between the probability of receiving a grant and firm productivity. As we go from single- to multiple-grant-supported firms, this negative relation becomes more pronounced.

The openness of open innovation in ecosystems
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Öberg, C., & Alexander, A.



Open innovation has rendered increased interest both in practice and research, and has expanded from dyadic transfers of ideas, to ecosystem levels. Knowledge is at the heart of open innovation, and this paper describes and discusses knowledge-transfer linkages for open innovation. It does so based on a literature review. The paper links together open innovation research with general management research to categorise and discuss linkages among parties in terms of their openness and how they relate to knowledge management. Conclusions indicate that openness needs to be considered in different dimensions that also links to different knowledge management outcomes. The paper’s contribution consists of how it connects open innovation research to the general management literature, and how it builds a practical understanding of how linkages between firms can be categorised to aid firms to consider which mechanisms they may choose and why.

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