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Are Taxes Credits Effective in Developing Countries? The Recent Uruguayan Experience

Andrés Rius, Paula Carrasco (), Fedora Carbajal, Paola Cazulo and Llambí, Cecilia

No 1045, Research Department working papers from CAF Development Bank Of Latinamerica

Abstract: Investment promotion through tax incentives has been a key component of the growth strategies pursued in Uruguay by the last three administrations. A new regime was established, regulated by the Executive Decree 455, which caused the main channel for subsidizing investment to undergo a major overhaul. This regime immediately generated a battery of researchable questions about its effectiveness and efficiency. Using a big dataset, first put together for this study from firm-level administrative records kept by the tax collection and pensions institutes between 2005 and 2011, we test the hypotheses of significant and positive effects of obtaining a tax credit through the new regime on investment and employment outcomes. A matched differences-in-differences strategy confirms that the promotion regime introduced in 2008 had a statistically significant effect on the firms’ rate of investment (around 11%); while effects on employment growth rate are more ambiguous. These findings are buttressed by several robustness tests. Further probing uncovers heterogeneity along the promotion timeline, with the greatest effect on the rate of investment occurring in the projects’ first year.

Keywords: Finanzas públicas; Investigación socioeconómica (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe
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