This article provides an overview of the most important insights from economic literature on private investment into research and development activity and how it may be constrained by market failure. The focus is on implications from empirical studies for the identification of financially constrained firms with respect to their innovative activities. The empirical evidence for incentive and financing problems for private sector investment in innovation projects has provided ground for governmental interventions to prevent welfare reducing underinvestment in innovation. However, the survey of the literature shows that designing efficient policy schemes is not straightforward as government funds are scarce, and the impact of financial constraints on investment may differ substantially across firms, types of R&D projects and the organization of financial markets in different countries.


Innovation, R&D, Financial Constraints, Innovation Policy