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Entrepreneurial Risk, Credit Constraints, and the Corporate Income Tax: A Quantitative Exploration

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  • Césaire Assah Meh

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Working Papers with number 02-21.

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Length: 48 pages Abstract: This paper describes the positive effect that corporate income tax has on capital formation in the presence of liquidity constraints and uninsurable risk. The author uses a dynamic general-equilibrium model in which individuals choose whether to become entrepreneurs or workers. Workers save by holding corporate equity and therefore are subject to double taxation, as the return on their savings is taxed at both the corporate and personal level. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, save by investing in their businesses and are taxed only at the personal level. This differential tax treatment results in an increase in capital accumulation because entrepreneurs must save in response to liquidity constraints and uninsurable risk. A calibrated version of the model is used to quantify the consequences of eliminating the corporate income tax. Interestingly, the removal of the corporate income tax decreases capital formation: by eliminating double taxation, the return on workers' savings increases, which in turn reduces the number of entrepreneurs. Consequently, the stock of capital decreases, since entrepreneurs have a higher marginal rate of saving than workers, as they save not only for life-cycle motives but to self-insure against business risk and to start and finance their businesses.
Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:02-21

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Keywords: Economic models; Fiscal policy;

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  1. Albuquerque, R. & Hopenhayn, H.A., 1997. "Optimal Dynamic Lending Contracts with Imperfect Enforceability," RCER Working Papers 439, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Fullerton, Don, et al, 1981. "Corporate Tax Integration in the United States: A General Equilibrium Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 677-91, September.
  3. Gilchrist, S. & Himmelberg, C.P., 1995. "Evidence on the Role of Cash Flow for Investment," Papers 95-29, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  4. Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles, and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 309-40, May.
  5. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  6. Jane G. Gravelle & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1987. "The Incidence and Efficiency Costs of Corporate Taxation when Corporate and Noncorporate Firms Produce the Same Good," NBER Working Papers 2462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Martin Feldstein & Joel Slemrod, 1980. "Personal Taxation, Portfolio Choice and The Effect of the Corporation Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 0241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ebrill, Liam P & Hartman, David G, 1982. "On the Incidence and Excess Burden of the Corporation Income Tax," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 37(1), pages 48-58.
  9. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  11. Gordon, Roger H, 1985. "Taxation of Corporate Capital Income: Tax Revenues versus Tax Distortions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-27, February.
  12. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  13. Gollin, Douglas, 2008. "Nobody's business but my own: Self-employment and small enterprise in economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 219-233, March.
  14. Andrés Erosa, 2000. "Financial Intermediation and Occupational Choice in Development," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20003, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  15. Ham, John C & Melnik, Arie, 1987. "Loan Demand: An Empirical Analysis Using Micro Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 704-09, November.
  16. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
  17. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  18. R. Glenn Hubbard & William M. Gentry, 2000. "Tax Policy and Entrepreneurial Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 283-287, May.
  19. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
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