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Corporate tax competition and the decline of public investment

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  • Gomes, Pedro
  • Pouget, Francois

Abstract

The government’s choices of the corporate tax rate and public investment are interdependent. In particular, they both respond positively to the other. Therefore, international tax competition not only drives corporate tax rates to lower levels but might also affect negatively the stock of public capital. We build a general equilibrium model that illustrates the relation between the two variables. We then add an element of international tax competition. Our simulations show that when international tax competition drives the statutory tax rate down from 45% to 30%, public investment is reduced by 0.4% of output at the steady state. The short run effect is three times higher. The second part of our study displays an empirical analysis that corroborates the main outcome of the model. We estimate two policy functions for 21 OECD countries and find that corporate tax rate and public investment are endogenous. More precisely, a decline of 15% in the corporate tax rate reduces public investment by 0.6% to 1.1% of GDP. We also find evidence that international competition operates on both policy tools. JEL Classification: H0, H26, H54

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0928.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20080928

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Keywords: Corporate tax; Public capital; Public investment; Tax competition;

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References

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  1. Pedro R. D. Bom & Jenny Ligthart, 2008. "How Productive is Public Capital? A Meta-Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2206, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Christophe Kamps, 2006. "New Estimates of Government Net Capital Stocks for 22 OECD Countries, 1960-2001," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(1), pages 6.
  3. Keen, M. & Marchand, M., . "Fiscal competition and the pattern of public spending," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1284, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Elitzur, Ramy & Mintz, Jack, 1996. "Transfer pricing rules and corporate tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 401-422, June.
  5. Aaron Mehrotra & Timo Välilä, 2006. "Public Investment in Europe: Evolution and Determinants in perspective," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 27(4), pages 443-471, December.
  6. Hans Jarle Kind & Helene Midelfart & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2004. "Corporate Tax Systems, Multinational Enterprises, and Economic Integration," CESifo Working Paper Series 1241, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2007. "International Profit Shifting within European Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniele Franco, 2000. "Public investment, the Stability Pact and the ‘golden rule’," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 207-229, June.
  9. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
  10. Randolph, Susan & Bogetic, Zeljko & Hefley, Dennis, 1996. "Determinants of public expenditure on infrastructure : transportation and communication," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1661, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Hannes Winner, 2012. "Fiscal Competition and the Composition of Public Expenditure: An Empirical Study," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 6(3), September.
  2. Teguh Dartanto, 2012. "The 2008 Corporate Income Tax Reform and Its Contribution to Poverty Reduction in Indonesia," Working Papers in Economics and Business 201203, Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia, revised Apr 2012.
  3. Neumann, Rebecca & Holman, Jill & Alm, James, 2009. "Globalization and tax policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 193-211, August.
  4. Hansson, Åsa & Porter, Susan & Perry Williams, Susan, 2012. "The Effect of Political and Economic Factors on Corporate Tax Rates," Working Paper Series 942, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. Jolanta Ga³uszka, 2013. "The Fiscal Union as a Remedy For the Economic and Financial Crisis in the European Union," Equilibrium, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikolaja Kopernika, vol. 8, pages 49-67.

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