We consider the development of German federal research and technology (R&T) policies since the 1960s and sketch the evolution of today’s highly differentiated and complex set of policy instruments. Advances from economic theory and empirical results are reflected in this evolution, but have not necessarily been the driving force. In some instances, innovative policy instruments have been introduced in order to accomodate the state of the art in economic analysis; in other cases, such innovations have preceded a thorough analysis of the respective policy instruments. A major point of concern is the lack of comprehensive evaluation and cost-benefit analyses in R&T policies. In this regard, German policy practice lags behind well-established procedures in other countries.


Innovation, Public R&D Subsidies, Policy Evaluation