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Manabu Nose and Mr. Jiro Honda
Would digitalization at firm level strengthen firms’ resilience to shocks? And if so, could fiscal policy play any role to promote firm-level digitalization? This paper empirically explores answers to these questions. Based on a local projection method (using the Orbis data covering 1.8 million non-financial firms from 53 countries), we estimate the impacts of aggregate uncertainty shocks on firms’ sales, profit margin, and employment. The findings suggest that uncertainty shocks affect digitalized and less-digitalized firms very differently. Digitalized firms weather shocks better, with smaller drops in sales and profits, while less-digitalized ones are worse off, with long-lasting scars. Then we examine the impact of fiscal interventions to promote firms’ digitalization, using cross-country panel data (covering 64 countries). The result suggests that aligning the tax regime on digital services with general taxation principles and competitive procurement rules on digital products could effectively support the promotion of firm-level digitalization. Overall, our findings point that firm-level digitalization would help strengthen firms’ resilience to a shock, and fiscal interventions can play an important role to promote firm-level digitalization.