Measuring Firm-Level Productivity Convergence in the UK: The Role of Taxation and R&D Investment
CGR Working Paper 45
36 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2014
Date Written: November 18, 2013
This paper examines the direct effects of corporate tax on firm productivity along with the interaction effects of tax policy and R&D activity on productivity at firm level for over 13,062 firms during 2004-2011. Our main findings are first, that there is evidence for productivity convergence and we find that there is a positive robust relationship between R&D and firm productivity, whereas tax policy has a negative distortionary effect on TFP. Second, firms with greater export orientation do not seem to achieve much improvement in productivity, whereas the favourable productivity effect in the case of R&D-based firms suggests that if there are tax incentives in place for R&D type activity, it can promote innovation and drive productivity convergence (lagging firms closing the technology gap with those at the frontier), particularly so when there is a continued decline in overall economic activity. The results also show a significant non-linear effect of tax rate on firm-level productivity, identifying an inverse U-shaped relationship.
Keywords: Total Factor Productivity, Catch-Up, Effective Tax Rate, Firm-level Productivity Convergence, UK
JEL Classification: O3, O4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation