IZA DP No. 5007: Quantifying Optimal Growth Policy
published in: Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2016, 18 (3), 451-485
The optimal mix of growth policies is derived within a comprehensive endogenous growth model. The analysis captures important elements of the tax-transfer system and takes into account transitional dynamics. Currently, for calculating corporate taxable income US firms are allowed to deduct approximately all of their capital and R&D costs from sales revenue. Our analysis suggests that this policy leads to severe underinvestment in both R&D and physical capital. We find that firms should be allowed to deduct between 2-2.5 times their R&D costs and about 1.5-1.7 times their capital costs. Implementing the optimal policy mix is likely to entail huge welfare gains.