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korean management review - Vol. 45 , No. 6

[ Article ]
korean management review - Vol. 45, No. 6, pp.1833-1857
Abbreviation: kmr
ISSN: 1226-1874 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Dec 2016
Received 25 Feb 2016 Revised 03 Aug 2016 Accepted 15 Aug 2016

Too Much Support from the Government?: Government R&D Subsidies and their Impacts on R&D Investments and Firm Innovation
Hwanseok Choi* ; Yangmin Kim**
*Doctoral Student, Sogang Business School, Sogang University, First Author
**Professor, Sogang Business School, Sogang University, Corresponding Author

마중물 또는 눈먼 돈: 정부 연구개발 지원금이 연구개발 투자와 기업 혁신에 미치는 영향
최환석* ; 김양민**
*(주저자) 서강대학교 박사과정, 중소기업연구원 연구원 (
**(교신저자) 서강대학교 경영대학 교수 (


Following Agency theory, this research examines government R&D subsidies and their impacts on R&D investment intensities and R&D performance, which is measured by such proxies as the number of patents obtained, the number of SCI papers published, and the number of commercializations. This paper also investigates how firm’s financial slack moderates the relationship between government R&D subsidies and R&D performance. To this end, hypotheses were developed and tested with an individual establishment level sample of approximately 5,800 Korean companies that have received R&D subsidy more than once from Korean government between 2010 and 2012. The results can be summarized as follows: (1) There is an inverted U-shaped relationship between government R&D subsidies and firm’s R&D intensities, (2) There also is an inverted U-shaped relationship between the proportion of government R&D subsidies to firm's total R&D expenditure and R&D performance, and (3) financial slack of a company moderates the effects of the proportion of government R&D subsidies to firm's total R&D expenditure on such R&D output as number of commercializations. The results suggest that there are positive effects of government subsidies on firm’s R&D intensities to some degree. Beyond certain points, however, government subsidies do not help firms increase their R&D intensities. Instead they decrease firm’s R&D intensities. In a similar manner, there are positive effects of government subsidies on firm’s innovation measured by number of patents obtained and number of commercializations. Beyond certain points, however, government subsidies do not help firms innovate. Instead they decrease firms’ outputs of innovation. This is particularly true in high- technology industries. The results suggest that too much of government R&D subsidies may not be beneficial for firms in terms of their own R&D efforts and innovation abilities. Theoretical contributions and practical implications of the study are discussed.


본 연구는 대리인 이론에 기초하여 정부의 연구개발 지원이 개별 기업의 자체 연구개발 투자 및 혁신 성과에 미치는 영향에 대해 분석하였다. 그리고 이러한 관계에 있어 재무적 여력이 미치는 조절효과에 대해서도 살펴보았다. 이를 위해 2010년부터 2012년까지 정부 연구개발 지원을 1회 이상 받은 약 5,800개의 상장 및 비상장 기업을 대상으로 분석을 시행하였다. 본 연구의 실증분석 결과, 정부의 연구개발 지원과 개별 기업의 자체 연구개발 투자 사이에 역 U자의 관계가 발견되었다. 또한 개별 기업의 총 연구개발 투자 내 정부 지원금 비중 역시 기업의 연구개발 성과와 역 U자형 관계를 가지는 것으로 나타났다. 이러한 결과들은 정부의 지원이 어느 수준까지는 기업의 연구개발을 촉진시키는 마중물의 역할을 하지만, 지나치게 많은 보조금은 오히려 도덕적 해이를 야기하여 기업의 혁신을 저해할 수 있다는 것을 의미한다. 마지막으로 개별 기업이 자체적으로 보유한 재무적 여력은 정부 지원금 비중과 특허, 논문 실적 등의 1차적 연구개발 성과 간에는 유의미한 영향을 미치지 않았지만, 사업화 실적으로 측정한 2차적 연구개발 성과 간에 대해서는 유의미한 정(+)의 영향을 미치는 것으로 나타났다. 본 연구는 이러한 결과를 바탕으로 시사점과 그 한계점에 대하여 논의하였다.

Keywords: Government support, R&D investments, Innovation, Financial slack
키워드: 정부 지원, 연구개발 투자, 혁신, 재무적 여력

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∙저자 최환석은 현재 서강대학교 박사과정에 재학 중이며, 중소기업연구원에서 연구원으로 일하고 있다. 고려대학교 경영학과를 졸업하고, 美 조지워싱턴대학교에서 통계학 석사를 취득하였다. 前 지식경제부에서 전문관으로 일하였으며, 이후 중소기업연구원으로 옮겨 관련 이슈들에 대한 연구를 지속적으로 수행하고 있다. 주요 관심분야는 기업 혁신과 성장, 시너지 창출, 글로벌 경쟁, 기업 지배구조 등이다.

∙저자 김양민은 현재 서강대학교 경영대학 교수이며 미국 Marquette University 경영대학 조교수, University of Southern California 경영대학 방문교수를 역임하였다. Texas A&M대학교에서 경영학 박사학위를 취득하였고, 주요 관심분야는 전략적 리더십, 기업지배구조, 창업CEO의 특성, 기업혁신과 CEO승계 등이다. 전략경영학회의 상임이사, 인사조직학회의 상임이사 등을 역임하였다.