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State-Level R&D Tax Credits: A Firm-Level Analysis


  • Paff Lolita A

    () (Penn State Berks - Lehigh Valley College)


California’s changes in R&D tax credit rates on biopharmaceutical and software firms’ research investment during 1994-1996 and 1997-1999 is compared using two approaches. Consistent with the federal research tax credit literature, the difference-in-differences analysis provides some evidence of increased R&D expenditure in response to research tax credit rate increases. In contrast, the estimated tax price elasticities obtained by computing and testing the tax prices for in-house research are dramatically higher than the existing literature’s estimates near unity. Possible explanations include firms’ greater sensitivity to state-level policy, industry factors, sample characteristics and measurement error. For contract research with universities and other not-for-profit research organizations, the findings suggest a tax credit may not be the optimal policy tool. Finally, state-level R&D incentives do not appear to have equal incentive effects across industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Paff Lolita A, 2005. "State-Level R&D Tax Credits: A Firm-Level Analysis," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-27, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.5:y:2005:i:1:n:17

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bodas Freitas, Isabel & Castellacci, Fulvio & Fontana, Roberto & Malerba, Franco & Vezzulli, Andrea, 2017. "Sectors and the additionality effects of R&D tax credits: A cross-country microeconometric analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 57-72.
    2. Christof Ernst & Katharina Richter & Nadine Riedel, 2014. "Corporate taxation and the quality of research and development," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 694-719, August.
    3. Chang, Andrew C., 2014. "Tax Policy Endogeneity: Evidence from R&D Tax Credits," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-101, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Richter, Katharina & Spengel, Christoph, 2014. "Tax planning of R&D intensive multinationals," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-114, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Joel Peress & jim goldman, 2016. "Firm Innovation and Financial Analysis: How Do They Interact?," 2016 Meeting Papers 531, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Christoph Ernst & Katharina Richter & Nadine Riedel, 2013. "Corporate taxation and the quality of research & development," Working Papers 1301, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    7. Castellacci, Fulvio & Lie, Christine Mee, 2015. "Do the effects of R&D tax credits vary across industries? A meta-regression analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 819-832.
    8. Kasahara, Hiroyuki & Shimotsu, Katsumi & Suzuki, Michio, 2014. "Does an R&D tax credit affect R&D expenditure? The Japanese R&D tax credit reform in 2003," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 72-97.
    9. Isabel Bodas Freitas & Fulvio Castellacci & Roberto Fontana & Franco Malerba & Andrea Vezzulli, 2015. "The additionality effects of R&D tax credits across sectors: A cross-country microeconometric analysis," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20150424, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    10. Robert Atkinson, 2007. "Expanding the R&E tax credit to drive innovation, competitiveness and prosperity," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 32(6), pages 617-628, December.
    11. Syoum Negassi & Jean-Francois Sattin, 2014. "Evaluation of Public R&D Policy: A Meta-Regression Analysis," Working Papers 14-09, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
    12. Yang, Chih-Hai & Huang, Chia-Hui & Hou, Tony Chieh-Tse, 2012. "Tax incentives and R&D activity: Firm-level evidence from Taiwan," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1578-1588.
    13. Daniel J. Wilson, 2005. "Beggar thy neighbor? the in-state vs. out-of-state impact of state R&D tax credits," Working Paper Series 2005-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    14. Elschner, Christina & Ernst, Christof, 2008. "The Impact of R&D Tax Incentives on R&D Costs and Income Tax Burden," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-124, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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