IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/cepdps/dp1413.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do Tax Incentives for Research Increase Firm Innovation? An RD Design for R&D

Author

Listed:
  • Antoine Dechezleprêtre
  • Elias Einiö
  • Ralf Martin
  • Kieu-Trang Nguyen
  • John Van Reenen

Abstract

We present evidence of a causal impact of research and development (R&D) tax incentives on innovation. We exploit a change in the asset-based size thresholds for eligibility for R&D tax subsidies and implement a Regression Discontinuity Design using administrative tax data on the population of UK firms. There are statistically and economically significant effects of the tax change on both R&D and patenting (even when quality-adjusted). R&D tax price elasticities are large at about 2.6, probably because the treated group is from a sub-population of smaller firms and subject to financial constraints. There does not appear to be pre-policy manipulation of assets around the thresholds that could undermine our design. Over the 2006-11 period aggregate business R&D would be around 10% lower in the absence of the tax relief scheme. We also show that the R&D generated by the tax policy creates positive spillovers on the innovations of technologically related firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Dechezleprêtre & Elias Einiö & Ralf Martin & Kieu-Trang Nguyen & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Do Tax Incentives for Research Increase Firm Innovation? An RD Design for R&D," CEP Discussion Papers dp1413, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1413
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1413.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Luis Garicano & Claire Lelarge & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Firm Size Distortions and the Productivity Distribution: Evidence from France," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3439-3479, November.
    2. Hassett, Kevin A. & Hubbard, R. Glenn, 2002. "Tax policy and business investment," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 20, pages 1293-1343 Elsevier.
    3. Raffaello Bronzini & Eleonora Iachini, 2014. "Are Incentives for R&D Effective? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 100-134, November.
    4. Charles Bérubé & Pierre Mohnen, 2009. "Are firms that receive R&D subsidies more innovative?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 206-225, February.
    5. 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.
    6. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    7. Shiferaw Gurmu & Fidel Pérez-Sebastián, 2008. "Patents, R&D and lag effects: evidence from flexible methods for count panel data on manufacturing firms," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 507-526, November.
    8. Nicholas Bloom & Mark Schankerman & John Van Reenen, 2013. "Identifying Technology Spillovers and Product Market Rivalry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1347-1393, July.
    9. Arora, Ashish & Ceccagnoli, Marco & Cohen, Wesley M., 2008. "R&D and the patent premium," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1153-1179, September.
    10. Daniel J. Wilson, 2009. "Beggar Thy Neighbor? The In-State, Out-of-State, and Aggregate Effects of R&D Tax Credits," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 431-436, May.
    11. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S Graff Zivin & Danielle Li & Bhaven N Sampat, 2019. "Public R&D Investments and Private-sector Patenting: Evidence from NIH Funding Rules," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(1), pages 117-152.
    12. Ufuk Akcigit & Salomé Baslandze & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2016. "Taxation and the International Mobility of Inventors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 2930-2981, October.
    13. Esther Ann Bøler & Andreas Moxnes & Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 2015. "R&D, International Sourcing, and the Joint Impact on Firm Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3704-3739, December.
    14. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2005. "Market Value and Patent Citations," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(1), pages 16-38, Spring.
    15. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques & Mohnen, Pierre, 2010. "Measuring the Returns to R&D," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    16. 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.
    17. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    18. Xulia González & Jordi Jaumandreu & Consuelo Pazo, 2005. "Barriers to Innovation and Subsidy Effectiveness," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 930-949, Winter.
    19. Bronwyn H. Hall & Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers & Vania Sena, 2013. "The importance (or not) of patents to UK firms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 603-629, July.
    20. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1858-1903 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Lach, Saul, 2002. "Do R&D Subsidies Stimulate or Displace Private R&D? Evidence from Israel," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 369-390, December.
    22. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-432, December.
    23. Gavin Cameron, 1996. "On the measurement of real R&D: Divisia price indices for UK business enterprise R&D," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 215-219, December.
    24. Bettina Becker, 2015. "Public R&D Policies And Private R&D Investment: A Survey Of The Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(5), pages 917-942, December.
    25. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 71-102, October.
    26. Hall, Bronwyn H & Ziedonis, Rosemarie Ham, 2001. "The Patent Paradox Revisited: An Empirical Study of Patenting in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry, 1979-1995," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(1), pages 101-128, Spring.
    27. Enrico Moretti & Daniel J. Wilson, 2017. "The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 1858-1903, July.
    28. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    29. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    30. Hausman, Jerry & Hall, Bronwyn H & Griliches, Zvi, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 909-938, July.
    31. Bronzini, Raffaello & Piselli, Paolo, 2016. "The impact of R&D subsidies on firm innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 442-457.
    32. Ajay Agrawal & Carlos Rosell & Timothy S. Simcoe, 2014. "Tax Credits and Small Firm R&D Spending," NBER Working Papers 20615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Haskel, J & Goodridge, P & Hughes, A & Wallis, G, 2015. "The contribution of public and private R&D to UK productivity growth," Working Papers 21171, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
    34. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Andrew Gelman & Guido Imbens, 2014. "Why High-order Polynomials Should not be Used in Regression Discontinuity Designs," NBER Working Papers 20405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Henrik J. Kleven & Mazhar Waseem, 2013. "Using Notches to Uncover Optimization Frictions and Structural Elasticities: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 669-723.
    37. Harhoff, Dietmar & Scherer, Frederic M. & Vopel, Katrin, 2003. "Citations, family size, opposition and the value of patent rights," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1343-1363, September.
    38. Steve R. Bond & Irem Guceri, 2012. "Trends in UK BERD after the Introduction of R&D Tax Credits," Working Papers 1201, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    39. Lee G. Branstetter & Mariko Sakakibara, 2002. "When Do Research Consortia Work Well and Why? Evidence from Japanese Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 143-159, March.
    40. Tuomas Takalo & Tanja Tanayama & Otto Toivanen, 2013. "Estimating the Benefits of Targeted R&D Subsidies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 255-272, March.
    41. Elias Einiö, 2014. "R&D Subsidies and Company Performance: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Government Funding Based on the ERDF Population-Density Rule," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 710-728, October.
    42. Hélène Dernis & Mafini Dosso & Fernando Hervas & Valentine Millot & Mariagrazia Squicciarini & Antonio Vezzani, 2015. "World Corporate Top R&D Investors: Innovation and IP bundles," JRC Working Papers JRC94932, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    43. Scott J. Wallsten, 2000. "The Effects of Government-Industry R&D Programs on Private R&D: The Case of the Small Business Innovation Research Program," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 82-100, Spring.
    44. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, April.
    45. 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.
    46. Mariagrazia Squicciarini & Hélène Dernis & Chiara Criscuolo, 2013. "Measuring Patent Quality: Indicators of Technological and Economic Value," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2013/3, OECD Publishing.
    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. repec:zbw:svrwjg:201819 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Geoffrey Barrows, 2018. "Do Entrepreneurship Policies Work? Evidence From 460 Start-Up Program Competitions Across the Globe," Policy Papers 2018.02, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    4. Takalo, Tuomas & Tanayama, Tanja & Toivanen, Otto, 2017. "Welfare Effects of R&D Support Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 12155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Øivind Anti Nilsen & Arvid Raknerud & Diana-Cristina Iancu, 2018. "Public R&D Support and Firms' Performance - A Panel Data Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 7131, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hünermund, Paul & Moshgbar, Nima, 2018. "Public procurement as policy instrument for innovation," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-001, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    7. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:50-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Comin, Diego & Licht, Georg & Pellens, Maikel & Schubert, Torben, 2018. "Do Companies Benefit from Public Research Organizations? The Impact of the Fraunhofer Society in Germany," Papers in Innovation Studies 2018/7, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    9. repec:fru:finjrn:180505:p:58-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:cep:cepisp:01 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Dean Baker, 2016. "Working Paper: Rents and Inefficiency in the Patent and Copyright System: Is There a Better Route?," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2016-12, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    12. Tobias Lohse & Stephan Waizmann, 2016. "Die steuerliche Förderung privater Forschungs- und Entwicklungsaktivitäten: Empirische Evidenz und offene Forschungsfragen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 69(17), pages 49-51, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    R&D; patents; tax; innovation; Regression Discontinuity Design;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:cep:cepdps:dp1413. 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: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP .

    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 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.

    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.