IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ifs/fistud/v22y2001i3p375-399.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Measuring the cost-effectiveness of an R&D tax credit for the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Rachel Griffith

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Stephen Redding

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

This paper investigates the economic impact of the government’s proposed new UK R&D tax credit. We measure the benefit of the credit by the effect on value added in the short and long runs. This is simulated from existing econometric estimates of the tax-price elasticity of research and development (R&D) and the effect of R&D on productivity. For the latter, we allow R&D to have an effect on technology transfer (catching up with the technological frontier) as well as innovation (pushing the frontier forward). We then compare the increase in value added to the likely exchequer costs of the programme under a number of scenarios. In the long run, the increase in GDP far outweighs the costs of the tax credit. The short-run effect is far smaller, with value added only exceeding cost if R&D grows at or below the rate of inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:22:y:2001:i:3:p:375-399
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/fs/articles/0047a.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jonathan Eaton & Eva Gutierrez & Samuel Kortum, 1998. "European technology policy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(27), pages 404-438.
    2. 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.
    3. Mansfield, Edwin & Schwartz, Mark & Wagner, Samuel, 1981. "Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 907-918, December.
    4. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
    5. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    6. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J. Peter, 2007. "Absorptive capacity, R&D spillovers, and public policy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 1089-1108, October.
    7. Charles I. Jones, 1995. "Time Series Tests of Endogenous Growth Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 495-525.
    8. Jaffe, Adam B, 1986. "Technological Opportunity and Spillovers of R&D: Evidence from Firms' Patents, Profits, and Market Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 984-1001, December.
    9. Stephen Redding & James Proudman, 1998. "Productivity convergence and international openness," Bank of England working papers 77, Bank of England.
    10. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology and Changes in Skill Structure: Evidence from Seven OECD Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244.
    11. Goolsbee, Austan, 1998. "Does Government R&D Policy Mainly Benefit Scientists and Engineers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 298-302, May.
    12. Scherer, F M, 1982. "Inter-Industry Technology Flows and Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 627-634, November.
    13. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-596, September.
    14. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril98-1, june.
    15. G Cameron, 1996. "Innovation and Economic Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0277, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    16. Schankerman, Mark, 1981. "The Effects of Double-Counting and Expensing on the Measured Returns to R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 454-458, August.
    17. 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.
    18. Nicolas Bloom & Rachel Griffith & John Van Reenen, 1999. "Do R&D tax credits work? Evidence from an international panel of countries 1979-1994," IFS Working Papers W99/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    19. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-93-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Klette, T.J. & Moen, J. & Griliches, Z., 1999. "Do Subsidies to Commercial R&D Reduce Market Failures? Microeconometric Evaluation Studies," Papers 16/99, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
    21. Hall, Bronwyn & Van Reenen, John, 2000. "How effective are fiscal incentives for R&D? A review of the evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 449-469, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Rui Costa & Nikhil Datta & Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally, 2018. "Investing in People: The Case for Human Capital Tax Credits," Working Papers 2018-030, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Norman Gemmell & Richard Kneller & Danny McGowan & Ismael Sanz & José F. Sanz‐Sanz, 2018. "Corporate Taxation and Productivity Catch‐Up: Evidence from European Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 120(2), pages 372-399, April.
    3. Nicholas Crafts, 2013. "Returning to Growth: Policy Lessons from History," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 34(2), pages 255-282, June.
    4. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2019. "Aggregate Implications of Innovation Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(6), pages 2625-2683.
    5. Daniel Burghart & Trudy Cameron & Geoffrey Gerdes, 2007. "Valuing publicly sponsored research projects: Risks, scenario adjustments, and inattention," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 77-105, August.
    6. Harris, Richard & Li, Qian Cher & Trainor, Mary, 2009. "Is a higher rate of R&D tax credit a panacea for low levels of R&D in disadvantaged regions?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 192-205, February.
    7. Bettina Becker, 2013. "The Determinants of R&D Investment: A Survey of the Empirical Research," Discussion Paper Series 2013_09, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Sep 2013.
    8. repec:cep:cepisp:01 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Christine Greenhalgh & Mark Longland & Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre, 2002. "Running to Stand Still? - Intellectual Property and Value Added in Innovating Firms," Economics Series Working Papers 134, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bettina Becker, 2013. "The Determinants of R&D Investment: A Survey of the Empirical Research," Discussion Paper Series 2013_09, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Sep 2013.
    2. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2004. "From R&D to Productivity Growth: Do the Institutional Settings and the Source of Funds of R&D Matter?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(3), pages 353-378, July.
    3. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques & Mohnen, Pierre, 2010. "Measuring the Returns to R&D," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 1033-1082, Elsevier.
    4. Neil Foster-McGregor, 2012. "Innovation and Technology Transfer across Countries," wiiw Research Reports 380, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    5. Agnieszka Gehringer, 2011. "Pecuniary Knowledge Externalities across European Countries—Are there Leading Sectors?," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 415-436.
    6. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
    7. John Van Reenen, 2001. "The new economy: reality and policy," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 307-336, September.
    8. Michael J. Orlando, 2000. "On the importance of geographic and technological proximity for R&D spillovers : an empirical investigation," Research Working Paper RWP 00-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    9. Anna Hammerschmidt, 2006. "A strategic investment game with endogenous absorptive capacity," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp092, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    10. Cameron, Gavin & Proudman, James & Redding, Stephen, 2005. "Technological convergence, R&D, trade and productivity growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 775-807, April.
    11. Stoneman, Paul, 2011. "Soft Innovation: Economics, Product Aesthetics, and the Creative Industries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199697021.
    12. Benjamin Montmartin & Nadine Massard, 2015. "Is Financial Support For Private R&D Always Justified? A Discussion Based On The Literature On Growth," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 479-505, July.
    13. Dominique Guellec & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe De La Potterie, 2003. "The impact of public R&D expenditure on business R&D," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 225-243.
    14. Henrik Braconier & Fredrik Sjöholm, 1998. "National and international spillovers from R&D: Comparing a neoclassical and an endogenous growth approach," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 134(4), pages 638-663, December.
    15. Michele Cincera, 2005. "Firms' productivity growth and R&D spillovers: An analysis of alternative technological proximity measures," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(8), pages 657-682.
    16. Bronwyn Hall, 2004. "The financing of research and development," Chapters, in: Anthony Bartzokas & Sunil Mani (ed.), Financial Systems, Corporate Investment in Innovation, and Venture Capital, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Stavins, Robert & Jaffe, Adam & Newell, Richard, 2000. "Technological Change and the Environment," Working Paper Series rwp00-002, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    18. Jakob B. Madsen & Md. Rabiul Islam & James B. Ang, 2010. "Catching up to the technology frontier: the dichotomy between innovation and imitation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1389-1411, November.
    19. Jaakko Simonen, 2005. "The innovativeness of the Finnish high technology firms – The role of internal factors, cooperation, and the mobility of labour," ERSA conference papers ersa05p462, European Regional Science Association.
    20. G Cameron, 1996. "Innovation and Economic Growth," CEP Discussion Papers dp0277, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:22:y:2001:i:3:p:375-399. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ifsssuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Emma Hyman (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ifsssuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.