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Title: Business R&D Policy in Spain and Portugal: Objectives, Incentives and Outcomes
Authors: Carvalho, Adão
Corchuelo, Beatriz
Keywords: Business R&D
R&D incentives
R&D policy
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Carvalho, Adão e Corchuelo, Beatriz (2013), Business R&D Policy in Spain and Portugal: Objectives, Incentives and Outcomes, in Anales de Economía Aplicada 2013, Atas do XXVII Congreso Internacional de Economía Aplicada ASEPELT - La Economía en la Sociedad del (Des)Conocimiento, Zaragoza, 4-6 de julho de 2013, pp.670-698, Madrid: Delta publicaciones, ASEPELT. ISBN: 978-84-15581-72-7 (CD-Rom).
Abstract: Spain and Portugal are two EU countries of different size but similar structural problems of science and technology (S&T) to address. Over recent years, the R&D policy of both countries has been designed to tackle analogous R&D structural problems and challenges aiming to increase the historical low-level expenditures on R&D (GERD), business R&D expenditures (BERD), and BERD/GERD ratio. This paper compares and discusses the R&D policy strategy of Spain and Portugal to promote R&D, with particular attention to R&D objectives and business R&D incentives. In this sense, the paper focuses on the characteristics and differences of the two main tools used by governments to stimulate business R&D: direct funding (subsidies and loans) and indirect support (fiscal incentives for R&D). The scope and design of these instruments are likely to condition the firms’ decision on how and when to invest in R&D and be able to partly reduce the problems with business underinvestment in R&D. The paper shows the differences and similarities of these tools in Portugal and Spain. Paradoxically, these countries have two of the most generous fiscal systems for R&D of the OECD but their S&T indicators of remain comparatively low. Despite the governments’ efforts, the increasing generosity of the public incentives and the general tendency to reduce the gap with the EU average, none of the main R&D policy objectives has yet been achieved. Perhaps not expected, it is a fact that the BERD to GDP ratio in Portugal has grown at higher rates than that of Spain, leading to a faster approach of Portugal to Spain and the EU average, especially after 2005. On the contrary, the R&D growth rate in Spain has slowed down and began to decrease after 2008, coinciding with the implementation of a tax reform that reduced progressively the percentage of the tax credit in the tax payable until its total elimination after 2011. There may be lessons to be learned by Spain from this rapid growth of BERD in Portugal and its connection with the financial support R&D policies.
ISBN: 978-84-15581-72-7 (CD-Rom)
Type: article
Appears in Collections:CEFAGE - Artigos em Livros de Actas/Proceedings
ECN - Artigos em Livros de Actas/Proceedings

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