Public Programs, Innovation, and Firm Performance in Chile

Feb 2012
This paper evaluates the impact of two public programs, FONTEC and FONDEF, aimed at fostering innovation in Chilean firms. With the cooperation of several public agencies, participants and non-participants in these programs during the period 1995-2000 were identified from a large panel of firms in the manufacturing sector. From this information, the effect of the programs could be determined using propensity score matching (PSM) and differences in differences (DID) in a multiple treatment setting. Results show that these programs have generally been associated with increases in employment and productivity, but the impact is heterogeneous across programs and indicators of firm performance.