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Tax Competition In A Simple Model With Heterogeneous Firms: How Larger Markets Reduce Profit Taxes

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  • Andreas Haufler
  • Frank Stähler

Abstract

An important puzzle in corporate taxation is that effective tax rates have fallen significantly while tax revenue has simultaneously risen in most countries. Moreover, the gross profitability of firms seems to be lower in high-tax countries, even though standard models of international investment would yield the opposite conclusion. We offer an explanation for these stylized facts by setting up a simple two-country model of tax competition with heterogeneous firms. In this model a unique, asymmetric Nash equilibrium can be shown to exist, provided that countries are sufficiently different with respect to their exogenous market conditions. In equilibrium the larger country levies the higher tax rate and attracts the high-cost firms. A simultaneous expansion of both markets intensifies tax competition and causes both countries to reduce their tax rates, despite higher corporate tax bases.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 54 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 665-692

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Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:54:y:2013:i:2:p:665-692

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Krautheim, Sebastian & Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2011. "Heterogeneous firms, 'profit shifting' FDI and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 122-133, February.
  2. Dominika Langenmayr & Andreas Haufler & Christian Josef Bauer, 2012. "Should Tax Policy Favor High- or Low-Productivity Firms?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4034, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Becker, Johannes & Runkel, Marco, 2012. "Even small trade costs restore efficiency in tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 191-195.
  4. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2009. "Tax Competition with Heterogeneous Firms," Discussion Paper Series 237, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  5. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2011. "Optimal tax policy when firms are internationally mobile," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 580-604, October.
  6. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest & Nadine Riedel, 2010. "Corporate tax effects on the quality and quantity of FDI," Working Papers 1013, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  7. Sebastian Krautheim & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2011. "Wages and International Tax Competition," Working Papers 1123, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.

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