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Does an R&D Tax Credit Affect R&D Expenditure? The Japanese Tax Credit Reform in 2003

Author

Listed:
  • Hiroyuki Kasahara,

    (University of British Columbia)

  • Katsumi Shimotsu

    (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)

  • Michio Suzuki

    (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)

Abstract

To what extent does a tax credit affect firms' R&D activity? What are the mechanisms? This paper examines the effect of R&D tax credits on firms' R&D expenditure by exploiting the variation across firms in the changes in the eligible tax credit rate between 2000 and 2003. Estimating the first-difference equation of the linear R&D model by panel GMM, we find the estimated coefficient of an interaction term between the eligible tax credit rate and the debt-to-asset ratio is positive and significant, indicating that the effect of tax credit is significantly larger for firms with relatively large outstanding debts. Conducting counterfactual experiments, we found that the aggregate R&D expenditure in 2003 would have been lower by 3.0-3.4 percent if there had been no tax credit reform in 2003, where 0.3-0.6 percent is attributable to the effect of financial constraint, and that the aggregate R&D expenditure would have been larger by 3.1-3.9 percent if there had been no cap on the amount of tax credits, where 0.3-0.8 percent is attributable to relaxing the financial constraint of firms with outstanding debts.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiroyuki Kasahara, & Katsumi Shimotsu & Michio Suzuki, 2012. "Does an R&D Tax Credit Affect R&D Expenditure? The Japanese Tax Credit Reform in 2003," CARF F-Series CARF-F-275, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo, revised Oct 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:cfi:fseres:cf275
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. KOBAYASHI Yohei, 2011. "Effect of R&D Tax Credits for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Japan: Evidence from firm-level data," Discussion papers 11066, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    3. Ogawa, Kazuo, 2007. "Debt, R&D investment and technological progress: A panel study of Japanese manufacturing firms' behavior during the 1990s," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 403-423, December.
    4. 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.
    5. James R. Brown & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 2009. "Financing Innovation and Growth: Cash Flow, External Equity, and the 1990s R&D Boom," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(1), pages 151-185, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Castellacci, Fulvio & Lie, Christine Mee, 2015. "Do the effects of R&D tax credits vary across industries? A meta-regression analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 819-832.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law
    • 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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