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The Impact of Corporate Taxes on Firm Innovation: Evidence from the Corporate Tax Collection Reform in China


  • Jing Cai
  • Yuyu Chen
  • Xuan Wang


This paper exploits a tax reform on manufacturing firms in China to study the impact of taxes on firm innovation. The reform switched the corporate income tax collection from the local to the state tax bureau and reduced the effective tax rate by 10%. The reform only applied to firms established after January 2002, allowing us to use regression discontinuity design as the identification strategy. The results show that lower taxes improved both quantity and quality of firm innovation. Moreover, the reform has a bigger impact on firms that are financially constrained and firms that engage more in tax evasion.

Suggested Citation

  • Jing Cai & Yuyu Chen & Xuan Wang, 2018. "The Impact of Corporate Taxes on Firm Innovation: Evidence from the Corporate Tax Collection Reform in China," NBER Working Papers 25146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25146
    Note: DEV PE PR

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhu, Xiaoyang & Asimakopoulos, Stylianos & Kim, Jaebeom, 2020. "Financial development and innovation-led growth: Is too much finance better?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    2. Wilman Gómez & Carlos Esteban Posada & Remberto Rhenals, 2018. "Determinants of Total Factor Productivity: The cases of the main Latin American and emerging economies of Asia (1960 - 2015)," Documentos de Trabajo CIEF 017081, Universidad EAFIT.
    3. Aldieri, Luigi & Makkonen, Teemu & Paolo Vinci, Concetto, 2020. "Environmental knowledge spillovers and productivity: A patent analysis for large international firms in the energy, water and land resources fields," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    4. Li, Bing & Liu, Chang & Sun, Stephen Teng, 2021. "Do corporate income tax cuts decrease labor share? Regression discontinuity evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    5. Xiaowei Kong & Deng-Kui Si & Haiyang Li & Dongmin Kong, 2021. "Does access to credit reduce SMEs’ tax avoidance? Evidence from a regression discontinuity design," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 7(1), pages 1-23, December.
    6. Xia Pan & Yuning Gao & Dong Guo & Wenyin Cheng, 2020. "Does Higher Education Promote Firm Innovation in China?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(18), pages 1-14, September.
    7. Chen, Yongmin & Jiang, Haiwei & Liang, Yousha & Pan, Shiyuan, 2021. "The Impact of Foreign Direct Investment on Innovation: Evidence from Patent Fillings and Citations in China," MPRA Paper 107680, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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