Are business subsidies efficient?

Although subsidies are often criticized for their undesirable economic effects and for the way they discriminate in favour of particular sectors or firms, they maintain a strong presence in our economy. Governments not only seem incapable of trimming them but tend to invest in new forms of business assistance that are subtler and harder to evaluate, leaving them less open to reproach. The concept of subsidies includes not only direct dollar transfers but also other forms of aid that do not involve actual disbursements or that are considered as investment rather than spending. While disbursements are easy to measure, other types of subsidy are merely implicit, and precise data on their extent are often unavailable.

Links of interest

Appendix: Are business subsidies efficient?

Media release: The Montreal Economic Institute suggests replacing subsidies with lower business taxes – Two out of three people in Quebec are in favour

Léger Marketing public opinion poll (May 30, 2006): Omnibus Survey Report on Quebeckers’ Opinion of Subsidies Awarded to Companies

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