R&D Tax Credits and the Acquisition of Startups
IWH Discussion Papers,
We propose a novel mechanism through which established firms contribute to the startup ecosystem: the allocation of R&D tax credits to startups via the M&A channel. We show that when established firms become eligible for R&D tax credits, they increase their R&D and M&A activity. In particular, they acquire more venture capital (VC)-backed startups, but not non-VC-backed firms. Moreover, the impact of R&D tax credits on firms’ R&D is increasing with their acquisition of VC-backed startups. The results suggest that established firms respond to R&D tax credits by acquiring startups rather than solely focusing on increasing their R&D intensity in-house. We also highlight evidence that startups do not appear to benefit from R&D tax credits directly, perhaps because they typically lack the taxable income necessary to directly benefit from the tax credits. In this context, established firms can play an intermediary role by acquiring startups and reallocating R&D tax credits, effectively relaxing the financial constraints faced by startups.
The Impact of Lowering Carbon Emissions on Corporate Labour Investment: A Quasi-Natural Experiment
We examine the impact of low-carbon city (LCC) initiatives on labour investment decisions (quantity, quality, and well-being). Using a time-varying difference-in-differences approach based on staggered implementations of such a pilot program, we report an inefficient outcome - absolute deviation of labour investment from the optimal net hiring – especially for firms in labour-intensive industries and firms with high financial slack or adjustment costs. We, however, observe increased investments in highly skilled personnel and compensated with employee stock ownership, especially by firms under intense pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Such initiatives are also closely associated with the significant enhancement of workplace safety. Overall, LCC helps to upgrade the corporate labour structure by hiring more skilled employees through reduced agency problems and heightened green innovation.
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