Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2014: Evidenzbasierte Wirtschaftspolitik - Session: Taxation II No. B15-V2
Recent years have seen an unprecedented increase in the provision of R&D tax incentives. A growing empirical literature suggests that R&D tax incentives are instrumental in raising domestic R&D activity. In policy debates this fi nding is often interpreted to lend support to the notion that R&D tax incentives increase national welfare by internalizing knowledge spillovers to other agents in the economy and raising ineffi ciently low R&D levels. Our paper stresses that much of the observed increase in R&D activities in response to R&D tax incentives is in fact related to R&D activities that are attracted from abroad. Using unique panel data on R&D activities of European multinational fi rms, we test for a potential impact of both, R&D tax incentives in the affi liate's host country and R&D tax incentives at other locations of the multinational group. In line with theoretical predictions, we fi nd a positive impact of domestic R&D subsidies and a negative one for foreign subsidies provided at other group locations. Quantitatively, the fi ndings suggest that around 80% of the observed increase in R&D activities is related to relocations of R&D across country borders.