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An Analysis of the Employment Effects of the Washington High Technology Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax Credit




This paper estimates the effects of an R&D tax credit in the state of Washington on job creation. The research uses micro-data on the job creation and tax credits received by individual firms in the state of Washington from 2004 to 2009. We correct for the endogeneity of R&D tax credits received by individual firms by using instrumental variables based in part on national industry factor shares for R&D. We estimate that this tax credit created jobs, but at a high cost. The cost per job-year created is estimated to be between $40,000 and $50,000. The credit was so high cost in part because the credit was non-refundable. As a result, about one-quarter of the firms receiving credits were maxed out on credit eligibility, so that the credit provided no marginal incentive for additional R&D spending or job creation.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Bartik & Kevin Hollenbeck, 2012. "An Analysis of the Employment Effects of the Washington High Technology Business and Occupation (B&O) Tax Credit," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 12-187, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:upj:weupjo:12-187

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    R&D tax credits; business incentives; state economic development policies; job creation;

    JEL classification:

    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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