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Tax incentives… or subsidies for business R&D?

Author

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  • Isabel Busom

    ()

  • Beatriz Corchuelo

    ()

  • Ester Martínez-Ros

    ()

Abstract

We study whether firms’ actual use of R&D subsidies and tax incentives is correlated with financing constraints -internal and external- and appropriability difficulties and investigate whether both tools are substitutes. We compare the use of both policies by SMEs and by large firms and find significant differences both across instruments and across firm size. For SMEs, financing constraints are negatively correlated with the use of tax of credits, while they are positively associated with the likelihood of receiving a subsidy. The use of legal methods to protect intellectual property is positively correlated with the probability of using tax incentives, but not with the use of subsidies. For large firms external financing constraints are correlated with instrument use, but results regarding appropriability are ambiguous. Our findings suggest that (1) direct funding and tax credits are not perfect substitutes in terms of their ability to reach firms experiencing barriers associated to market failures; (2) one size may not fit all in innovation policy when the type or intensity of market failure differs across firm size, and (3) subsidies may be better suited than tax credits to encourage firms, especially young knowledge-based firms, to start doing R&D. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Isabel Busom & Beatriz Corchuelo & Ester Martínez-Ros, 2014. "Tax incentives… or subsidies for business R&D?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 571-596, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:43:y:2014:i:3:p:571-596
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-014-9569-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pere Arqué-Castells & Pierre Mohnen, 2015. "Sunk Costs, Extensive R&D Subsidies and Permanent Inducement Effects," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 458-494, September.
    2. García-Quevedo, José & Segarra-Blasco, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2018. "Financial constraints and the failure of innovation projects," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 127-140.
    3. Bronzini, Raffaello & Piselli, Paolo, 2016. "The impact of R&D subsidies on firm innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 442-457.
    4. Castellacci, Fulvio, 2015. "Institutional Voids or Organizational Resilience? Business Groups, Innovation, and Market Development in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 43-58.
    5. repec:kap:sbusec:v:50:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9828-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Monika Walicka & Joanna Prystrom, 2016. "R&D tax incentives for innovation and managerial decisions," "e-Finanse", University of Information Technology and Management, Institute of Financial Research and Analysis, vol. 11(4), pages 46-56, March.
    7. Huergo, Elena & Moreno, Lourdes, 2017. "Subsidies or loans? Evaluating the impact of R&D support programmes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1198-1214.
    8. Montmartin, B. & Herrera, M. & Massard, N., 2015. "R&D policies in France: New evidence from a NUTS3 spatial analysis," Working Papers 2015-11, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    9. Møen, Jarle, 2018. "Corporate returns to subsidized R&D projects: Direct grants vs tax credit financing," Discussion Papers 2018/9, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    10. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:8:p:1437-1447 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Kunapatarawong, Rasi & Martínez-Ros, Ester, 2016. "Towards green growth: How does green innovation affect employment?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 1218-1232.
    12. BEDU Nicolas & VANDERSTOCKEN Alexis, 2015. "The Effects of Regional R&D Subsidies on Innovative SME: Evidence from Aquitaine SMEs," Cahiers du GREThA 2015-13, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    13. Francesco Aiello & Giuseppe Albanese & Paolo Piselli, 2017. "Public R&D Support In Italy. Evidence From A New Firm-Level Patent Data Set," Working Papers 201702, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    14. Heike Belitz, 2015. "Steuerliche Förderung von Forschung und Entwicklung: Erfahrungen aus dem Ausland," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 85, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    SMEs; Innovation; R&D; Tax incentives; Subsidies; Policy mix; H25; L26; L60; O31; O38;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy

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