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The Effects of a Bonus Tax on Manager Compensation and Welfare

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  • Doina Maria Radulescu

Abstract

This paper analyses the implications of a currently publicly debated issue, namely the introduction of a bonus tax. We shed light on the effects of the bonus tax on compensation components and study its incidence. We use the Principal Agent model within a two-country framework and consider two main scenarios. In the first scenario the firm cannot relocate managers between countries whereas in the second scenario relocation possibilities exist. Our findings show that the effort based compensation component always rises in the country introducing the tax such that the optimal contracts are tilted towards more effort based pay. Moreover, the bonus tax negatively affects profits and dividends and thus the incidence falls on the firm’s shareholders. With no relocation possibilities, the country that does not introduce such a tax will be worse off in terms of welfare, as the dividend income accruing to its residents declines. Accordingly, the bonus tax can be interpreted as a transfer from the worldwide shareholders to the government levying the tax. However, the welfare results may be reversed when manager relocation is an alternative. In this case, welfare in the country introducing the tax is lower than in the no relocation scenario, while the country that does not levy a bonus tax might even gain in welfare terms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3030.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3030

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Keywords: bonus tax; labor taxation; effort; manager compensation; welfare;

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References

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  1. Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas Philippon & Ariell Reshef, 2009. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Financial Industry: 1909-2006," NBER Working Papers 14644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christelle Viauroux & Barnali Gupta, 2011. "Is Tax sharing Optimal? An Analysis in a Principal-Agent Framework," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-105, UMBC Department of Economics.
  4. Emmanuel Saez & Joel B. Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2009. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 15012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Peter Katuscák, 2009. "Taxes and Executive Compensation: Evidence from the 1990s," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 55(3-4), pages 542-568.
  6. Brian J. Hall & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "The Taxation of Executive Compensation," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 14, pages 1-44 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Dietl, Helmut M. & Grossmann, Martin & Lang, Markus & Wey, Simon, 2013. "Incentive effects of bonus taxes in a principal-agent model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 93-104.
  2. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2011. "Taxation and Regulation of Bonus Pay," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 030, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. Michael Keen, 2011. "The Taxation and Regulation of Banks," IMF Working Papers 11/206, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Hilmer, Michael, 2013. "Fiscal treatment of managerial compensation - a welfare analysis," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79703, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  5. Voßmerbäumer, Jan, 2012. "Effizienzwirkungen einer Regulierung von Managergehältern durch das Steuerrecht," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 125, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.

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