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The value-added tax reform puzzle

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  • Cai, Jing
  • Harrison, Ann

Abstract

This explores the impact of a tax reform in some provinces of China which eliminated the value-added tax on some investment goods. While the goal of the experiment was to encourage upgrading of technology, the results suggest that there was no evident increase overall in fixed investment, and employment fell significantly in the treated provinces and sectors. The reform reduced the total number of employees for all types of firms. For domestic firms, it reduced employment by almost 8 percent. The results are robust to a variety of approaches, and suggest that the primary impact of the policy has been to induce labor-saving growth. This experiment has since been extended to the rest of China.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5788.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5788

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Keywords: Taxation&Subsidies; Investment and Investment Climate; Debt Markets; Emerging Markets; Economic Theory&Research;

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  1. Avraham Ebenstein & Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan & Shannon Phillips, 2009. "Estimating the Impact of Trade and Offshoring on American Workers Using the Current Population Surveys," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0742, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Ann Harrison & Jason Scorse, 2010. "Multinationals and Anti-sweatshop Activism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 247-73, March.
  3. Alvaro Bustos & Eduardo Engel & Alexander Galetovic, 2002. "Could Higher Taxes Increase the Long-Run Demand for Capital?: Theory and Evidences for Chile," Documentos de Trabajo, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile 145, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  4. Nada Eissa, 1995. "Taxation and Labor Supply of Married Women: The Tax Reform Act of 1986 as a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 5023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Karel Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2012. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated US Tax Policy Shocks," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 145-81, May.
  6. Girma, Sourafel & Görg, Holger, 2006. "Evaluating the Foreign Ownership Wage Premium Using a Difference-in-Differences Matching Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 5788, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Rodrigo Cerda & Felipe Larrain, 2010. "Corporate taxes and the demand for labor and capital in developing countries," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 187-201, February.
  8. Robert Carroll & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Mark Rider & Harvey Rosen, 1996. "Income Taxes and Entrepreneur' Use of Labor," Working Papers 752, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Avraham Ebenstein & Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan & Shannon Phillips, 2009. "Why are American Workers getting Poorer? Estimating the Impact of Trade and Offshoring Using the CPS," NBER Working Papers 15107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Wang, Dehua, 2013. "The impact of the 2009 value added tax reform on enterprise investment and employment : Empirical analysis based on Chinese tax survey data," MERIT Working Papers 059, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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