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Fiscal incentives for R&D and innovation in a diverse world


  • Thomas Neubig


  • Fernando Galindo-Rueda


  • Silvia Appelt


  • Chiara Criscuolo


  • Matej Bajgar



Public policy has an important role to play in promoting research and development (R&D) the development, diffusion, and use of new knowledge and innovations. Fiscal incentives, including tax policies, should be directed at specific barriers, impediments or synergies to facilitate the desired level of investment in R&D and innovations. Without careful design, policies can have unintended consequences such as favouring incumbent firms, encouraging small firms to undertake less efficient activities, or creating arbitrage and rent-seeking activity. R&D tax policy needs to be considered in the context of the country’s general tax policies, its broader innovation policy mix and its other R&D support policies. More R&D activity in one country does not necessarily result in an overall increase in global innovation if it is simply shifted from another country. More research is needed to determine the extent to which R&D fiscal incentives in one country increase overall R&D, the quality of that R&D, and its positive spillovers to other sectors of the economy and other countries. Les incitations fiscales en faveur de la R-D et de l'innovation dans un monde diversifié La politique publique a un rôle important à jouer pour promouvoir la recherche et le développement, la création, la diffusion et l’utilisation de nouvelles connaissances et d’innovations. Les incitations fiscales, y compris les politiques fiscales, doivent cibler des obstacles, freins ou synergies spécifiques de manière à obtenir le niveau souhaité d’investissements dans la R-D et dans l’innovation. Si elles ne sont pas soigneusement conçues, ces politiques peuvent avoir des conséquences fortuites, comme favoriser les entreprises en place, inciter les petites entreprises à entreprendre des activités moins efficientes ou ouvrir la voie à l’arbitrage et à la recherche de rentes. Les mesures fiscales en faveur de la R-D doivent être appréhendées dans le contexte des politiques fiscales générales du pays, de l’ensemble des actions menées en faveur de l’innovation et de ses autres politiques d’aide à la R-D. Une intensification des activités de R-D dans un pays n’entraîne pas nécessairement une augmentation globale de l’innovation mondiale si elle correspond à un simple transfert d’un autre pays. Des travaux supplémentaires sont nécessaires pour déterminer dans quelle mesure les incitations fiscales en faveur de la R-D dans un pays augmentent le niveau global de R-D, la qualité de cette R-D et ses retombées positives dans d’autres secteurs de l’économie et dans d’autres pays.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Neubig & Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Silvia Appelt & Chiara Criscuolo & Matej Bajgar, 2016. "Fiscal incentives for R&D and innovation in a diverse world," OECD Taxation Working Papers 27, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ctpaaa:27-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5jlr9stckfs0-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Evens Salies, 2017. "Etudes d’impact du crédit d’impôt recherche (CIR): Une revue de la littérature," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/59b98fs2bu8, Sciences Po.
    2. Evens Salies, 2020. "L'impact du CIR sur les personnels de la recherche," Sciences Po publications 07/2020, Sciences Po.

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