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Effectiveness of R&D tax incentives in small and large enterprises in Québec

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  • Rufin Baghana
  • Pierre Mohnen

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Abstract

In this paper we evaluate the effectiveness of R&D tax incentives in Quebec, using manufacturing firm data from 1997 to 2003 originating from R&D surveys, annual surveys of manufactures and administrative data. The estimated price elasticity of R&D is -0.10 in the short run and -0.14 in the long run, with a slightly higher elasticities for small firms than for large firms. We show that there is a deadweight loss associated with level-based R&D tax incentives that is particularly acute for large firms. For small firms it is not sizeable enough to suppress the R&D additionality, at least not during quite a number of years after the initial tax change. Incremental R&D tax credits do not suffer from this deadweight loss and are from that perspective preferable to level-based tax incentives. Nous estimons l'efficacité des incitations fiscales à la R-D au Québec à partir des données des enquêtes annuelles de la R&D et de la manufacture et à partir des données administratives pour la période 1997 à 2003. L'élasticité-prix de court terme est estimée à -0.10 et celle de long terme à -0.14, avec une élasticité légèrement supérieure pour les petites entreprises. Nous trouvons une perte sèche assez nette pour les grandes firmes associée aux crédits d'impôt basés sur les niveaux de R-D. Pour les petites firmes cette perte sèche n'est pas suffisante pour détruire l'additionalité des crédits d'impôt. Les crédits d'impôt basés sur la recherche incrémentale n'accusent pas de perte sèche et sont de ce point de vue préférables aux crédits en proportion du niveau de R-D.
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Suggested Citation

  • Rufin Baghana & Pierre Mohnen, 2009. "Effectiveness of R&D tax incentives in small and large enterprises in Québec," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 91-107, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:33:y:2009:i:1:p:91-107
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-009-9180-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price elasticity of R&D; Quebec; R&D tax credits; O32; O38; H25; H50; C23; L26;

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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