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Effectiveness of Fiscal Incentives for R&D: Quasi-Experimental Evidence

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  • Ms. Li Liu
  • Irem Guceri

Abstract

With growing academic and policy interest in research and development (R&D) tax incentives, the question about their effectiveness has become ever more relevant. In the absence of an exogenous policy reform, the simultaneous determination of companies’ tax positions and their R&D spending causes an identification problem in evaluating tax incentives. To overcome this identification challenge, we exploit a U.K. policy reform and use the population of corporation tax records that provide precise information on the amount of firm-level R&D expenditure. Using difference-in-differences and other panel regression approaches, we find a positive and significant impact of tax incentives on R&D spending, and an implied user cost elasticity estimate of around -1.6. This translates to more than a pound in additional private R&D for each pound foregone in corporation tax revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Ms. Li Liu & Irem Guceri, 2017. "Effectiveness of Fiscal Incentives for R&D: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," IMF Working Papers 2017/084, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2017/084
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean Acheson & Rory Malone, 2020. "Respect Your Elders: Evidence from Ireland’s R&D Tax Credit Reform," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 51(1), pages 105-131.
    2. Pierre Courtioux & Antoine Reberioux & François Métivier, 2021. "The private return of R&D tax credit," Post-Print halshs-03182771, HAL.
    3. Tian, Binbin & Yu, Baixue & Chen, Shi & Ye, Jingjing, 2020. "Tax incentive, R&D investment and firm innovation: Evidence from China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    4. Pierre Courtioux & Antoine Reberioux & François Métivier, 2021. "The private return of R&D tax credit," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-03182771, HAL.
    5. Blandinieres, Florence & Steinbrenner, Daniela & Weiß, Bernd, 2020. "Which design works? A meta-regression analysis of the impacts of R&D tax incentives," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-010, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    6. Andreas Haufler & Dirk Schindler, 2020. "Attracting Profit Shifting or Fostering Innovation? On Patent Boxes and R&D Subsidies," CESifo Working Paper Series 8640, CESifo.
    7. Koch, Leonie & Simmler, Martin, 2020. "How important are local knowledge spillovers of public R&D and what drives them?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(7).
    8. Zhao, Chuanmin & Qu, Xi & Luo, Shougui, 2019. "Impact of the InnoCom program on corporate innovation performance in China: Evidence from Shanghai," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 103-118.
    9. Pöschel, Carla, 2020. "Incentive Effects of R&D Tax Incentives: A Meta-Analysis Focusing on R&D Tax Policy Designs," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 243, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    10. İrem Güçeri & Marko Köthenbürger & Martin Simmler, 2020. "Supporting Firm Innovation and R&D: What is the Optimal Policy Mix?," EconPol Policy Reports 20, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    11. Pierre Courtioux & François Métivier & Antoine Rebérioux, 2021. "The private return of R&D tax credit," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 21006, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    12. Blandinieres, Florence & Steinbrenner, Daniela, 2021. "How does the evolution of R&D tax incentives schemes impact their effectiveness? Evidence from a meta-analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-020, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    WP; growth rate; tax credit; deduction rate; cost of capital; Tax incentives; corporation tax returns; quasi-experiment; company scheme; optimization problem; a number of company; representative company; user cost; size proxy; investment decision; Tax allowances; Small and medium enterprises; Marginal effective tax rate; Global;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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