Dr. Rainer Widmann

Senior Research Fellow

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

+49 89 24246-568
rainer.widmann(at)ip.mpg.de

Curriculum Vitae

Download Curriculum Vitae

Personal Website:

www.rainerwidmann.com

Areas of Interest:

Innovation and Science Policy, Mobility, Labor Markets, Incentives in Organizations, Political Economy

Academic Résumé

Since 08/2018
Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Wettbewerb (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research)

09/2012 - 07/2018
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) at the Kellogg School of Management. Doctoral Thesis: “Essays on Economics of Innovation”

10/2010 - 07/2012
Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Economics at the Vienna Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS)

09/2006 - 01/2010
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science at the University of Vienna

09/2006 - 06/2010
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Business, Economics and Social Science at the Vienna University of Economics and Business

Scholarships and Awards

2017 - 2018
General Motors Research Center Disseration Fellowship, Kellogg School of Management

2012 - 2017
Ph.D. Scholarship, Kellogg School of Management

2011
Austrian Lottery Award, Vienna Institute for Advanced Studies

2010 - 2012
Vienna Institute for Advanced Studies Scholarship

Publications

Articles in Refereed Journals

Widmann, Rainer (2024). The Behavioral Additionality of Government Research Grants, International Journal of Industrial Organization 93. DOI

  • There are different forms of public support for industrial R&D. Some attempt to increase innovation by prompting firms to undertake more challenging projects than they otherwise would. Access to a dataset from one such program, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, allows me to examine the effect of research grants on firms' patenting outcomes. My estimates suggest that a government research grant increases the propensity to file a patent application with the European Patent Office by around 12 percentage points. Stronger effects appear for more experienced firms of advanced age. Additional evidence indicates that grants induce experienced firms to develop unconventional patents and patents that draw on knowledge novel to the firm. I interpret the findings in a “exploration vs. exploitation” model, in which grants are targeted at ambitious projects that face internal competition from more conventional projects within firms. The model shows that this mechanism is more salient in experienced firms, leading to a stronger response in behavior for this group of firms.
  • Also published as: Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 417

Widmann, Rainer (2023). Immigrant Inventors and Local Income Taxes: Evidence from Swiss Municipalities, Journal of Public Economics, 219 (March). DOI

  • This paper studies the relationship between local personal income tax rates and the attractiveness of municipalities as residential locations for immigrant inventors in Switzerland. Exploiting sharp differences in top income tax rates across state borders, I find an elasticity of the probability that an inventor takes residence in a border municipality with respect to the top net-of-tax rate of around 3.2. Additional evidence suggests that inventors’ residential location choices are consequential for the localization of entrepreneurial activity and local knowledge spillovers.
  • Also published as: Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper No. 21-17

Discussion Papers

Widmann, Rainer (2023). The Behavioral Additionality of Government Research Grants (Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series, Rationality and Competition, 417 ).

  • There are different forms of public support for industrial R&D. Some attempt to increase innovation by prompting firms to undertake more challenging projects than they would otherwise do. Access to a dataset from one such program, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, allows me to examine the effect of research grants on firms’ patenting outcomes. My estimates suggest that a government research grant increases the propensity to file a patent application with the European Patent Office by around 12 percentage points. Stronger effects appear for more experienced firms of advanced age. Additional evidence indicates that grants induce experienced firms to develop unconventional patents and patents that draw on knowledge novel to the firm. I interpret the findings in a exploration vs. exploitation model, in which grants are targeted at ambitious projects that face internal competition from more conventional projects within firms. The model shows that this mechanism is more salient in experienced firms, leading to a stronger response in behavior for this group of firms.
  • https://ideas.repec.org/p/rco/dpaper/417.html
  • Forthcoming in: International Journal of Industrial Organization Volume 93, March 2024, 103045

Widmann, Rainer; Rose, Michael; Chugunova, Marina (2022). Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Accused Scientists, and Their Research, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper, No. 22-18. DOI

  • We study academic consequences of non-academic misconduct for accused researchers at US universities. Focusing on allegations of sexual misconduct, we find detrimental effects on scientific impact, productivity and career. Other researchers are less likely to cite the perpetrator’s prior work after allegations surface. The effect is absent in male-dominated fields and weakens with distance in the co-authorship network, indicating that researchers learn about allegations via their peers. Although we find that alleged perpetrators tend to remain active researchers, they are less likely to be affiliated with a university and publish fewer articles following the incident.

Widmann, Rainer (2021). Immigrant Inventors and Local Income Taxes: Evidence from Swiss Municipalities, Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition Research Paper, No. 21-17.

  • This paper studies the relationship between local personal income tax rates and the attractiveness of municipalities as residential locations for immigrant inventors in Switzerland. Exploiting sharp differences in top income tax rates across state borders, I find an elasticity of the probability that an inventor takes residence in a municipality with respect to the top net-of-tax rate of around 4. Additional evidence suggests that inventors’ residential location choices are consequential for the localization of entrepreneurial activity and local knowledge spillovers.
  • Available at SSRN
  • Also published in: Journal of Public Economics, 219 (March), 104822

Presentations

22.11.2023
Cross-Border Commuters and Knowledge Diffusion
University of Linz
Location: Linz, Austria


25.10.2023
Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Accused Scientists, and their Research
University of Luxembourg
Location: Luxembourg


13.04.2023
Relationship-Specific Risks in Scientific Training and Advisors’ Hold-up Power
Workshop “The Organisation, Economics & Policy of Science”
Location: Munich


08.01.2023
Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Accused Scientists, and their Research
ASSA Meeting
Location: New Orleans, LA, US


22.12.2022
Open Border Policy and Knowledge Diffusion
Nationalökonomische Gesellschaft WU Winter Workshop, WU Wien
Location: Vienna, Austria


18.11.2022
Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Accused Scientists, and Their Research
Seminar, Ohio State University
Location: Columbus, OH, US


03.11.2022
Open Border Policy and Knowledge Diffusion
INNOPAT 2022, ZEW Mannheim
Location: Mannheim


21.10.2022
Open Border Policy and Knowledge Diffusion
4th Workshop on Local Public Finance and Regional Economics, Universität Bern
Location: Bern, Switzerland


04.07.2022
Open Border Policy and Knowledge Diffusion
Geography of Innovation Conference 2022, Bocconi University
Location: Milan, Italy


03.02.2022
Open Border Policy and Knowledge Diffusion
TIME Seminar
Location: online


19.10.2021
Open-Border Policy and Knowledge Spillovers
DRUID Conference 2021, Copenhagen Business School
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark


13.10.2021
Sexual Misconduct: Do You Separate the Researcher from His Research
CRC Retreat
Location: Ohlstadt


16.12.2020
Open-Border Policy and Knowledge Diffusion
University of Kassel
Location: online


14.12.2020
Open-Border Policy and Knowledge Diffusion
LMU Innovation Brown Bag
Location: online


20.02.2020
Innovation and Networks
LMU Literature Bootcamp
Location: Prien/Chiemsee


29.01.2020
Immigrant Inventors and Local Income Taxes
5th Geography of Innovation Conference
University of Stavanger, RUNIN, Stavanger Centre for Innovation Research
Location: Stavanger, Norway


26.11.2019
Immigrant Inventors and Local Income Taxes: Evidence from Swiss Municipalities
Seminar, TU Munich
Location: Munich


18.09.2019
Immigrant Inventors and Local Income Taxes: Evidence from Swiss Municipalities
Seminar, EPFL Lausanne
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland


26.11.2019
The Effect of Government Research Grants on Firm Innovation Theory and Evidence from Austria
Seminar, Ohio State University
Location: Columbus, Ohio, US


17.06.2019
Immigrant Inventors and Local Income Taxes: Evidence from Swiss Municipalities
LMU Munich Innovation Seminar
Location: Munich


20.05.2019
Immigrant Inventors and Local Income Taxes: Evidence from Swiss Municipalities
Swiss Workshop on Local Public Finance and Regional Economics, University of Lugano
Location: Lugano, Switzerland


17.05.2019
The Effect of Government Research Grants on Firm Innovation Theory and Evidence from Austria
8th ZEW/MaCCI Conference on the Economics of Innovation and Patenting, ZEW
Location: Mannheim


Teaching Experience

2013 - 2017

Teaching Assistant

Kellogg School of Management

2011 - 2012

Teaching Assistant

Vienna Institute for Advanced Studies

2009 - 2010

Teaching Assistant

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Projects