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Local land supply and fiscal incentives for R&D: Evidence from a quasi-natural experiment in China

Yuanyuan Liu, Guanchun Liu and Chengsi Zhang ()

China Economic Review, 2021, vol. 68, issue C

Abstract: Whereas numerous studies have evaluated the effects of public research and development (R&D) support programs and R&D tax incentives on private R&D, little is known about local governments' fiscal incentives for R&D. In this study, we build a conceptual framework to clarify the critical role of local land supply in relation to fiscal expenditure on R&D. We treat the establishment of China's nine Land Supervision Bureaus in 2006 as a quasi-natural experiment, and run a difference-in-differences regression to identify causality. The results show that local governments allocate more fiscal expenditure to R&D in response to land-use supervision, which monitors illegal land granting behaviors, and this effect is stronger in cities where leaders have higher political career incentives and cities with greater fiscal decentralization. Moreover, we find that land-use supervision increases the probability and scale of firms' access to government subsidies for R&D; thus, enhancing regional innovation capacity. Our findings document that China's land resource is a curse for its innovation-driven growth as it impedes local governments' fiscal incentives for R&D.

Keywords: Land resource curse; Fiscal incentives; Research and development; China; Quasi-natural experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E62 O13 P28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2021.101630

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China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

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