Skip to main content

Investment Grants and Firms’ Productivity: How Effective are Booster Shots?

Online Event |

As part of CEGIST's seminar series, we are proud to announce that Fernando Alexandre and Miguel Portela (Universidade do Minho) will present the work "Investment Grants and Firms’ Productivity: How Effective are Booster Shots?".

This seminar will take place on June 24th at 11:00, online via Zoom (link below)

Our seminars are free to attend and open to everyone. Please share with whomever may be interested.

Fernando Alexandre and Miguel Portela
Fernando Alexandre and Miguel Portela


This work investigates the effect of awarding multiple investment grants to the same firm. We implement a Regression Discontinuity Design strategy using a very rich firm-level administrative database, which allows us to link applications, and their scores, to firms' performance. Our estimations show that a grant booster shot has a positive and significant impact on firms’ productivity. In particular, our results suggest that multiple investment grants may be very effective in fostering small-sized firms' productivity. No significant impact on productivity of single or multiple grants was found for micro-, and medium- and large-sized firms. Finally, the impact of a grant booster shot on small-sized firms seems to be magnified when there is a time gap between grants.


Speakers' bios

Fernando Alexandre holds a PhD in Economics from Birkbeck College, University of London and is an Associate Professor with Habilitation at the University of Minho. He was Pro-Rector, Head of the School of Business and Economics, Director of the Department of Economics, and Secretary of State in the Portuguese Government from 2013 to 2015. Currently, he is also Vice-President of Conselho Económico e Social, an economics consultant at Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos and a Member of the Advisory Board of the National Productivity Board. His research interests are macroeconomics, financial markets and the Portuguese economy. He authored or co-authored eight books, several book chapters and papers in journals such as Labour Economics, Journal of Technology Transfer, Regional Studies, The World Economy, Open Economies Review, Economics Letters, CESifo Economic Studies or Higher Education. He has acted as a consultant for private and public institutions, including the European Commission and the Portuguese Government. In 2022, he was awarded the University of Minho Scientific Merit Prize.

Miguel Portela holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Amsterdam (2007). He is currently an Associate Professor with Habilitation at the University of Minho and the Director of the Centre for Research in Economics and Management (NIPE). He is also affiliated with CIPES and IZA, Bonn. He is a consultant for the Bank of Portugal, has an ongoing collaboration with Statistics Portugal and is a member of the Portuguese Productivity Council. His research interests are labour economics, the economics of education and applied econometrics. He has published a number of articles, books and book chapters, of which one highlights the papers in Econometrica, Labor Economics, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Regional Studies and Studies in Higher Education. He has ongoing research collaborations in different countries and leads and integrates research teams working on funded projects, either by private entities or by public entities, of which stands out “It's All About Productivity: contributions to the understanding of the sluggish performance of the Portuguese economy”, funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. He has written policy-oriented reports on minimum wage, education and employment in the Portuguese labour market.


Personal homepages:


CEGIST - Centro de Estudos de Gestão
Instituto Superior Técnico

Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049 - 001 Lisboa
Tel: +351 21 841 77 29 (ext. 1729)
Fax: +351 21 841 79 79

Sponsored by


Host Institution

IST Lisboa