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Tax incentives for R&D


  • Rachel Griffith

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • David Sandler
  • John Van Reenen


A long-standing concern surrounding the performance of the UK economy is its perceived failure to maintain the same technological pace as its competitors. Industrial research and development (R&D) expenditure as a proportion of GDP fell during the 1980s at a time when all other G7 countries increased the proportion of their output given over to R&D. This ratio is now lower in the UK than in most other G7 countries. If this world-wide trend toward more R&D indicates that industrial production is becoming increasingly science-based, then the UK may be in danger of becoming a relatively low-tech economy. One purpose of this article is to examine whether there is a rational basis for these fears.

Suggested Citation

  • Rachel Griffith & David Sandler & John Van Reenen, 1995. "Tax incentives for R&D," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(2), pages 21-44, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:16:y:1995:i:2:p:21-44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Coe, David T. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "International R&D spillovers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 859-887, May.
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    11. Altshuler, Rosanne, 1988. "A Dynamic Analysis of the Research and Experimentation Credit," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(4), pages 453-466, December.
    12. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & Pierre Mohnen, 1994. "International R & D Spillovers between U.S. and Japanese R & D intensive sectors," Cahiers de recherche du Département des sciences économiques, UQAM 9406, Université du Québec à Montréal, Département des sciences économiques.
    13. Altshuler, Rosanne, 1988. "A Dynamic Analysis of the Research and Experimentation Credit," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(4), pages 453-66, December.
    14. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "The Search for R&D Spillovers," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 251-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3, Specia), pages 783-832.
    16. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    17. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters,in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bloom, Nicholas & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 2000. "Do R&D Credits Work? Evidence From A Panel Of Countries 1979-97," CEPR Discussion Papers 2415, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Klette, Tor Jakob & Møen, Jarle, 2011. "R&D investment responses to R&D subsidies: A theoretical analysis and a microeconometric study," Discussion Papers 2011/15, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    3. Pierre Mohnen, 1999. "Tax Incentives: Issue and Evidence," CIRANO Working Papers 99s-32, CIRANO.
    4. Hernan Jaramillo Salazar & Carlos Pombo & Juan Miguel Gallego, 2002. "Incentivos fiscales en ciencia, tecnología e innovación: una revisión y análisis de la experiencia internacional," BORRADORES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 002828, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    5. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of research grant funding on scientific productivity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1168-1177, October.
    6. Dagenais, Marcel & Mohnen, Pierre & Therrien, Pierre, 2004. "Les firmes canadiennes répondent-elles aux incitations fiscales à la recherche-développement?," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 80(2), pages 175-205, Juin-Sept.
    7. Bloom, Nick & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 2002. "Do R&D tax credits work? Evidence from a panel of countries 1979-1997," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 1-31, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Desiderio Romero Jordán & José Félix Sanz Sanz, 2007. "Eficacia de los incentivos fiscales a la inversión en I+D en España en los años noventa," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 183(4), pages 9-32, december.
    10. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Measuring the cost-effectiveness of an R&D tax credit for the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 375-399, September.
    11. Kenneth J. McKenzie, 2005. "Tax Subsidies for R&D in Canadian Provinces," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(1), pages 29-44, March.

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