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Statistical analysis of the use and impact of government business programs

Staff research paper

This paper by John Revesz and Ralph Lattimore was released on 20 November 2001. The paper uses the Business Longitudinal Survey (BLS) from the Australian Bureau of Statistics to examine the characteristics of firms that use government business programs and to analyse how the use of such programs affects various aspects of their performance. The report is not an evaluation of the programs concerned or their administration by the responsible agencies.

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The Staff Research Paper, Statistical Analysis of the Use and Impact of Government Business Programs, examines the attributes of firms that participate in government business programs, their patterns of use and the effects these programs have on their performance.

The report is based on a unique longitudinal data set for Australian firms collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics from 1994-98. The programs examined included the EMDG (Export Market Development Grants) scheme, Export Access, Austrade services, ITES (International Trade Enhancement Scheme) (now discontinued), the R&D tax concession and R&D grants.

Background information

Ralph Lattimore (Assistant Commissioner) 02 6240 3242

02 6240 3330

Cover, Copyright, Preface, Contents, Abbreviations and explanations, Key Messages, Overview

1 Introduction
1.1 Objectives of the study
1.2 Previous studies
1.3 The general framework of the present study
1.4 Outline of the report

2 Data and methodological issues
2.1 The Business Longitudinal Survey
2.2 Data accuracy problems
2.3 Assessing program effects: some conceptual issues
2.4 The application of regressions to estimate program impact
2.5 Performance indicators for program evaluation

3 Program participants
3.1 The programs examined
3.2 Modelling participation in government programs
3.3 Participation counts and transitions
3.4 Logit and Poisson regressions
3.5 Correlations between programs
3.6 The influence of firm characteristics on transitions
3.7 Intentions and participation
3.8 Reasons for not using business programs

4 Assessing the effects of programs on performance
4.1 Performance indicators and program proxies
4.2 The effect of export programs on changes in the export-sales ratio
4.3 The effect of R&D programs on changes in the R&D-sales ratio
4.4 The links between participation in programs and labour productivity growth
4.5 Differences in program participation by exiting and continuing firms

A Summary statistics

B Characteristics of participants

C Correlations

D Intentions and transitions

E The effect of changes in participation

F Austrade's EMDG evaluation

G Tabulations of outcomes