Thomson, R. and Jensen, P.H. (2013). “The effects of government subsidies on business R&D employment: Evidence from OECD countries”, National Tax Journal 66(2), 281–310.
Existing empirical evidence suggests that public subsidies and fiscal incentives have a positive effect on the amount of private R&D expenditure. However, most studies have failed to address the possibility at least some of this increase may simply reflect the fact that R&D workers are being paid higher wages. Such an omission may imply that past research has over-estimated the effectiveness of R&D tax concessions.
In the absence of widely-available R&D deflators, we consider the impact of a range of public subsidies on the number of full-time equivalent workers employed in R&D (i.e., researchers) in the business sector. Our findings strongly support the effectiveness of both direct subsidies and fiscal incentives.