This paper presents an ex post evaluation of the 2008 reform of the French research tax credit. The tax scheme was massively overhauled, with a switch to a pure volume-based design, leading to a large increase in the number of firms applying and an important increase in the cost of the scheme. Given the timing and the characteristics of the reform, measuring its causal impact is challenging. We have relied on four unique sources of data – R&D surveys, administrative tax data, firm characteristics and patent datasets – to assess how French firms have reacted to these changes in incentives. Our empirical strategies rest on combining difference in differences with matching methods and taking advantage of the particular way the 2008 reform has affected incentives to invest in R&D. Our results suggest a positive effect of the 2008 reform on R&D at both the intensive margin and extensive margin, but a possible lower impact on innovation than could have been expected.
Antoine Bozio, Delphine Irac and Loriane Py
Classification JEL : C23, H25, O32
Keywords : tax credit, evaluation, R&D, innovation
Updated on: 06/12/2018 11:00