Dr. Smaranda Pantea won Rector’s prize for scientific publications

Smaranda Pantea, Assistant Professor and Research Fellow at the Faculty of International Relations, won one of Rector’s prizes for scientific publications for the article “Industrial policy at work: evidence from Romania’s income tax break for workers in IT”, written jointly with Isabela Manelici and published in European Economic Review in April 2021.

This article presents evidence on the effectiveness of an industrial policy with a unique design (a tax exemption for programmers), targeting the IT sector in Romania. The article studies the effects of the tax exemption introduced in 2001 and its expansion in 2013. Using firm-level data and difference-in-difference designs around each policy episode it shows that treated firms experienced strong and long-lasting growth. Then, using sector-level data and a synthetic control design, it shows that after the introduction of the tax exemption in 2001, the IT sector grew faster in Romania than in otherwise similar CEE countries and that there were positive effects for the downstream sectors that use IT intensively. The results suggest that this policy has been effective in promoting the development of the IT sector.

The article will be of interest to scholars and policy makers interested in industrial policies that facilitate transition to knowledge-based economy.

Smaranda Pantea, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Research Fellow at the Faculty of International Relations at Prague University of Economics and Business. She received her PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham. Previously, she worked at the Ministry of Public Finance in Romania and the European Commission. She is an applied economist with an interest economics of the ICT sector, digital economy and evaluation of related public policies. Her research has been published in leading economic journals, including European Economic Review, Small Business Economics, Economic Systems and Information Economics and Policy.