Tax incentives are among the most widespread policy tools to stimulate growth in the economic system, both in advanced and developing countries.
The project undertaken by SOSE, in collaboration with the Italian Department of Finance, aimed at measuring the impact of tax incentives on investment dynamics, on the level of capitalization of SMEs and on employment dynamics, through the use of counterfactual methodologies.
The effectiveness of these measures depends on a number of endogenous and exogenous factors that are not always easy to evaluate when formulating the provision. For this reason, the use of ex-post impact analysis is crucial both for assessing the financial and structural profile of the companies benefiting from the subsidy, and for measuring the impact on the strategic choices of companies and on the performance of the beneficiaries.
The analysis was conducted within a Spending Review project of the Italian Government. It focused on the results produced by some tax incentive measures - granted in the years between 2007 and 2010 - and provided a valid tool to assess if the allocated funds had produced the expected results in view of the growth and competitive development of the Italian production system. Furthermore both the areas on which to focus and the best methods to pursue the objectives of economic development have been clarified and better defined.
Some of the main tax breaks SOSE identified and analyzed concerned:
- measures to support the competitiveness of the economic structure;
- measures to support employment and investment, especially in areas characterized by deep economic depression;
- measures relating to the process of company recapitalization;
- incentives to the building and construction industry.