The findings of empirical enquiries into the criteria used to assess the effects of the laws providing subsidies for firms placed in lagging areas, have raised a series of questions which are addressed in this paper. Namely, an examination of the logic behind such acts, especially the 44/86 and 488/92 acts especially directed towards small and medium enterprises. We have also examined problems in data gathered and the kinds of services aiming to improve the competitiveness of new firms. Furthermore we have looked at examples of speculative behaviour. Starting from some empirical analysis already done on this matter, we'll try to examine why the social scientists opinions could vary, taking into account the following aspects: • the logic behind the laws; • aided SME's supply and demand of benefits; • criteria for making comparisons among • opportunistic risks caused by funds availability; • granting funds by using a discretionary or an automatic system; • policy implications.
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