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

Author/Editor:

Irem Guceri ; Li Liu

Publication Date:

March 31, 2017

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

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.

Series:

Working Paper No. 17/84

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

March 31, 2017

ISBN/ISSN:

9781475591170/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2017084

Format:

Paper

Pages:

43

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