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Do the effects of R&D tax credits vary across industries? A meta-regression analysis


  • Castellacci, Fulvio
  • Lie, Christine


This paper presents a survey of the micro-econometric literature on the effects of R&D tax credits on firms’ innovation activities. We focus on one specific aspect that has not received sufficient attention in previous research: the sectoral dimension. Our meta-regression analysis (MRA) sets up a new database collecting a large number of firm-level studies on the effects of R&D tax credits and investigates the factors that may explain differences in the estimated effects that are reported in the literature. The main result of the MRA analysis is indeed that sectors matter. Micro-econometric studies that have focused on a sub-sample of high-tech industries have on average obtained a smaller estimated effect of R&D tax credits. The paper proposes a simple framework to investigate why the effects of R&D tax credits vary across sectors and points out new directions and hypotheses for future research.

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  • Castellacci, Fulvio & Lie, Christine, 2013. "Do the effects of R&D tax credits vary across industries? A meta-regression analysis," MPRA Paper 47937, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47937

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ugur, Mehmet & Trushin, Eshref & Solomon, Edna & Guidi, Francesco, 2016. "R&D and productivity in OECD firms and industries: A hierarchical meta-regression analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 2069-2086.
    2. Elina Ladinska & Marielle Non & Bas Straathof, 2015. "More R&D with tax incentives? A meta-analysis," CPB Discussion Paper 309, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    3. Bodas Freitas, Isabel & Castellacci, Fulvio & Fontana, Roberto & Malerba, Franco & Vezzulli, Andrea, 2017. "Sectors and the additionality effects of R&D tax credits: A cross-country microeconometric analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 57-72.
    4. Beck, Mathias & Junge, Martin & Kaiser, Ulrich, 2017. "Public Funding and Corporate Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 11196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Cyril Chalendard, 2016. "Shifting-Profits through Tax Loopholes. Evidence from Ecuador," CESifo Working Paper Series 6240, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Daniel Gama e Colombo, 2016. "Impact Assessment of Tax Incentives to Foster Industrial Innovation in Brazil: The Case of Law 11,196/05," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2016_30, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
    7. Diego d’Andria & Dimitris Pontikakis & Agnieszka Skonieczna, 2017. "Towards a European R&D Incentive? An assessment of R&D Provisions under a Common Corporate Tax Base," Taxation Papers 69, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    8. Aristei, David & Sterlacchini, Alessandro & Venturini, Francesco, 2015. "The effects of public supports on business R&D: firm-level evidence across EU countries," MPRA Paper 64611, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Jarle Møen & Helge Sandvig Thorsen, 2017. "Publication Bias in the Returns to R&D Literature," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 8(3), pages 987-1013, September.
    10. Bergner, Sören Martin & Bräutigam, Rainer & Evers, Maria Theresia & Spengel, Christoph, 2017. "The use of SME tax incentives in the European Union," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-006, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Minniti, Antonio & Venturini, Francesco, 2017. "The long-run growth effects of R&D policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 316-326.
    12. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:637-653 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:nea:journl:y:2017i:34:p:59-93 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Jakob Edler & Jan Fagerberg, 2016. "Innovation Policy: What, Why & How," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20161111, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    15. repec:wly:econjl:v::y:2017:i:605:p:f236-f265 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Isabel Bodas Freitas & Fulvio Castellacci & Roberto Fontana & Franco Malerba & Andrea Vezzulli, 2015. "The additionality effects of R&D tax credits across sectors: A cross-country microeconometric analysis," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20150424, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    17. Michel Dumont, 2015. "Working Paper 05-15 - Evaluation of federal tax incentives for private R&D in Belgium: An update," Working Papers 1505, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    18. Annalisa Caloffi & Marco Mariani & Alessandro Sterlacchini, 2016. "Evaluating Public Supports To The Investment Activities Of Business Firms: A Meta-Regression Analysis Of Italian Studies," Working Papers 0116, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2016.
    19. Marino, Marianna & Lhuillery, Stephane & Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Sala, Davide, 2016. "Additionality or crowding-out? An overall evaluation of public R&D subsidy on private R&D expenditure," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(9), pages 1715-1730.
    20. Agustin Redonda, 2016. "Tax Expenditures and Sustainability. An Overview," Discussion Notes 1603, Council on Economic Policies.
    21. repec:eee:ecolet:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:92-94 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:10:p:1851-1862 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Pfeiffer, Olena & Spengel, Christoph, 2017. "Tax incentives for research and development and their use in tax planning," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-046, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item


    R&D tax credits; R&D policy; sectors; meta-regression analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • 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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