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Tax Policy and R&D Investment by Australian Firms

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  • Russell Thomson

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of investment in R&D by Australian firms, with a focus on the role of tax policy. The analysis considers an unbalanced panel of financial data of about 500 large Australian firms between 1990 and 2005. The principal result is that no evidence can be found that the user cost of R&D is an important determinant of firm R&D investment decisions. A corollary is that there is no evidence that tax incentives are an effective policy tool. Growth in sales is found to be the primary determinant of R&D investment, which is interpreted as evidence of the central role of demand conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2009n10.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2009n10

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Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
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Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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Keywords: R&D investment; R&D tax policy; innovation policy; Australian R&D;

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References

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  1. Dominique Guellec & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2000. "The Impact of Public R&D Expenditure on Business R&D," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2000/4, OECD Publishing.
  2. Dagenais, M. & Mohnen, P. & Therrien, P., 1997. "Do Canadian Firms Respond to Fiscal Incentives To Research and Development?," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 97b05, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  3. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
  4. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
  5. William Griffiths & Elizabeth Webster, 2004. "The Determinants of Research and Development and Intellectual Property Usage among Australian Companies, 1989 to 2002," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n27, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Nicholas Bloom & Rachel Griffith & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Do R&D Tax Credits Work? Evidence from a Panel of Countries 1979-1997," Discussion Papers 07-020, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Richardson, M. & Wilkie, S., 1988. "Incremental R$D Subsidies," Papers 133, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  8. Teece, David J., 1993. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 112-113, April.
  9. Hall, B. & Mairesse, J. & Branstetter, L. & Crepon, B., 1998. "Does Cash Flow cause Investment and R&D: An Exploration Using Panel Data for French, Japanese, and United States Scientific Firms," Economics Papers 142, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  10. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  11. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  13. George Symeonidis, 1996. "Innovation, Firm Size and Market Structure: Schumpeterian Hypotheses and Some New Themes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 161, OECD Publishing.
  14. L. C. Hunter & Elizabeth Webster & Anne Wyatt, 2005. "Measuring Intangible Investment," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n15, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  15. Hamada, Robert S, 1972. "The Effect of the Firm's Capital Structure on the Systematic Risk of Common Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 27(2), pages 435-52, May.
  16. James Love & Stephen Roper, 1999. "The Determinants of Innovation: R & D, Technology Transfer and Networking Effects," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 43-64, August.
  17. Martin Falk, 2006. "What drives business Research and Development (R&D) intensity across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(5), pages 533-547.
  18. Bronwyn H. Hall & John van Reenen, 1999. "How Effective are Fiscal Incentives for R&D? A New Review of the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Jeffrey I. Bernstein, 1986. "The Effect of Direct and Indirect Tax Incentives on Canadian Industrial R&D Expenditures," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 12(3), pages 438-448, September.
  20. Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 297.
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Cited by:
  1. Russell Thomson & Elizabeth Webster, 2011. "The Design of R&D Support Schemes for Industry," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Russell Thomson, 2013. "The Effectiveness of R&D Tax Credits: Cross-Industry Evidence," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2013n18, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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