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Corporate returns to subsidized R&D projects: Direct grants vs tax credit financing

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  • Møen, Jarle

    () (Dept. of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics)

Abstract

According to theory, direct R&D grants should be used for projects with low private returns, high social returns and high risk. R&D tax credits, on the other hand, allow firms to choose projects freely according to their private returns. Building on the standard R&D capital model, I develop a framework for estimating private returns to R&D projects with different types of funding. I apply the framework to estimate the corporate returns to subsidized R&D projects in Norway. Consistent with theory and a high quality grant allocation process, I find that projects funded through direct grants have private returns that are not significantly different from zero and with high variance, while the return to R&D projects financed by tax credits is just slightly below the return to R&D projects financed by own funds. The latter two return estimates are 16 % and 19 % respectively. I find that SMEs and small R&D performers have somewhat higher returns to R&D than larger firms. The overall return estimate across all types of finance is 15 %. This is in line with recent meta-regression results in the international literature.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2018_009
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns to R&D; R&D capital model; Knowledge capital model; R&D subsidies; R&D grants; R&D tax credit; Innovation Policy; Technology policy; Norway;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • 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

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