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Corporate taxation and the quality of research & development

Author

Listed:
  • Christoph Ernst

    (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Katharina Richter

    (University of Mannheim & ZEW Mannheim)

  • Nadine Riedel

    (University of Hohenheim, Oxford University CBT & CESifo Munich)

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of tax incentives on corporate research and development (R&D) activity. Traditionally, R&D tax incentives have been provided in the form of special tax allowances and tax credits. In recent years, several countries moreover reduced their income tax rates on R&D output. Previous papers have shown that all three tax instruments are effective in raising the quantity of R&D related activity. We provide evidence that, beyond this quantity effect, corporate taxation also distorts the quality of R&D projects, i.e. their innovativeness and revenue potential. Using rich data on corporate patent applications to the European patent office, we find that a low tax rate on patent income is instrumental in attracting innovative projects with a high earnings potentialand innovation level. The effect is statistically significant and economically relevant and prevails in a number of sensitivity checks. R&D tax credits and tax allowances are in turn not found to exert a statistically significant impact on project quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph Ernst & Katharina Richter & Nadine Riedel, 2013. "Corporate taxation and the quality of research & development," Working Papers 1301, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  • Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:1301
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Gemmell, Norman, 2021. "Economic Lessons for Tax Policy Advisers," Working Paper Series 9463, Victoria University of Wellington, Chair in Public Finance.
    3. 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.
    4. Martina Baumann & Tobias Boehm & Bodo Knoll & Nadine Riedel, 2020. "Corporate Taxes, Patent Shifting, and Anti-avoidance Rules: Empirical Evidence," Public Finance Review, , vol. 48(4), pages 467-504, July.
    5. Arvin, Mak B. & Pradhan, Rudra P. & Nair, Mahendhiran S., 2021. "Are there links between institutional quality, government expenditure, tax revenue and economic growth? Evidence from low-income and lower middle-income countries," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 468-489.
    6. Lisa Evers & Helen Miller & Christoph Spengel, 2015. "Intellectual property box regimes: effective tax rates and tax policy considerations," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(3), pages 502-530, June.
    7. Guo, Jang-Ting & Hung, Fu-Sheng, 2020. "Tax evasion and financial development under asymmetric information in credit markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    8. James Cust, 2017. "The role of governance and international norms in managing natural resources," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-203, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Wier, Ludvig, 2020. "Tax-motivated transfer mispricing in South Africa: Direct evidence using transaction data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    10. Vu, Trung V., 2021. "Statehood experience and income inequality: A historical perspective," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 415-429.
    11. Mick Moore, 2021. "Glimpses of fiscal states in sub-Saharan Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2021-151, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Kohl, Miriam, 2020. "Redistribution, selection, and trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    13. Jamil Nasir, 2020. "The Tariff Tripod of Pakistan: Protection, Export Promotion, and Revenue Generation," PIDE-Working Papers 2020:6, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    14. Pablo Beramendi & Melissa Rogers, 2021. "Disparate geography and the origins of tax capacity," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 213-237, January.
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    16. Ishak, Phoebe W. & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza, 2020. "The impact of declining oil rents on tax revenues: Does the shadow economy matter?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C).
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    18. Mohammad Hoseini, 2020. "Value‐Added Tax, Input–Output Linkages and Informality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 87(347), pages 813-843, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    corporate taxation; research and development; micro data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining

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