The aim of the article is to evaluate the attractiveness and efficiency of the DOCUP 2000-2006 public financing program in Piedmont. The dataset consists of 1,235 firms that applied for public funding to Finpiemonte S.p.A. We first examined what determinants lead firms to apply for public funding based on a control sample of 1,235 firms who chose not to participate in the program. The results indicate that leveraged firms are more likely to apply for a public subsidy. We then analyzed how Finpiemonte identifies and selects the beneficiary firms. Overall, the results of that analysis point to the selection of firms with lower leverage levels and lower costs, whose projects to be financed have longer lifecycles. Finally, we assess the efficacy of the program on firm performance in the years after the receipt and use of the subsidy. The analysis reveals that subsidized firms suffer from an increase in debt, poorer credit ratings and, while total assets increase, there is no evidence of a positive impact on profitability.
Keywords: Finanziamento pubblico, innovazione, politiche regionali