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The Impact of Tax Incentives on the Economic Activity of Entrepreneurs

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  • Jarkko Harju
  • Tuomas Kosonen

Abstract

Based on existing evidence, we know little about how the taxation of small business owners affects their economic activity. This paper studies the effect of two Finnish tax reforms, in 1997 and 1998, on the effort decisions of the owners of small businesses utilizing both theoretical model and empirical data. The reforms reduced the income tax rates of small business owners and applied only to unincorporated firms, leaving corporations out. We use a difference-in-differences strategy to estimate the causal impact of tax incentives on the economic activity of small businesses. The results imply that lighter taxation leads to an increase in the turnover of firms that we interpret as an increase in effort exerted by their owners.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18442.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18442

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  1. Bennmarker, Helge & Mellander, Erik & Öckert, Björn, 2009. "Do regional payroll tax reductions boost employment?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 480-489, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2014. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income and Income-Shifting: What is "Real" and What is Not?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4905, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Edmark, Karin & Gordon, Roger, 2013. "Taxes and the Choice of Organizational Form by Entrepreneurs in Sweden," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2013:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Tuomas Kosonen & Jarkko Harju, 2013. "The impact of tax incentives on the economic activity of entrepreneurs," Working Papers 42, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  4. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Matikka, 2013. "The elasticity of taxable income and income-shifting between tax bases: what is “real” and what is not?," Working Papers, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation 1313, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.

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