Will the real R&D employees please stand up? Effects of tax breaks on firm level outcomes
This paper evaluates the effect of R&D tax incentives in a quasi-experimental setting. I identify the impact by exploiting a reform in UK policy which increased the SME threshold from 250 to 500 employees. First, I provide evidence that tax incentives help to increase R&D spending at the company level, and the effect translates to a user cost elasticity of -1.18. Second, R&D generated through the reform may be attributable to an increase in the number of R&D employees. I use R&D survey data for which the companies do not have an incentive to relabel their ordinary spending as R&D.