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Wage Incidence of Local Corporate Taxation - Micro Evidence from Germany

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  • Peichl, Andreas
  • Fuest, Clemens
  • Siegloch, Sebastian

Abstract

In this paper we provide empirical evidence on the wage incidence of the German business tax, which is set at the municipal level. For our analysis, we use very rich administrative linked employer-employee panel data, covering 11 years, and link it to data on the business tax rates of about 11,100 German municipalities. On average 8\% of the municipalities adjust their business tax rate per year. We are thus able to exploit multiple quasi-natural experiments to identify the tax incidence on wages. While the unique German setting allows us to gauge general equilibrium wage effects, the detailed administrative data enables us to estimate heterogeneous incidence effects and to explore different channels of how the business tax burden is passed on. Consistent with our theoretical model, we find a negative direct effect of corporate taxation on wage, arising in a collective wage bargaining context. A one euro increase in the annual tax liabilities yields a 50 cent decrease of the annual wage bill. This burden is borne high- and medium-skilled labor. Furthermore, we show that the general equilibrium effect on wages is negligible in the context of our study due to the high regional labor mobility. --

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79916.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79916

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  1. Bauer, Thomas K. & Kasten, Tanja & Siemers, Lars, 2012. "Business Taxation and Wages: Evidence from Individual Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Wiji Arulampalam & Michael P Devereux & Giorgia Maffini, 2009. "The Direct Incidence of Corporate Income Tax on Wages," Working Papers 0917, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  3. Alan J. Auerbach, 2006. "Who Bears the Corporate Tax? A Review of What We Know," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 20, pages 1-40 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-78, June.
  5. Bradford, David F., 1978. "Factor prices may be constant but factor returns are not," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 199-203.
  6. Henrik J. Kleven & Mazhar Waseem, 2013. "Using Notches to Uncover Optimization Frictions and Structural Elasticities: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 669-723.
  7. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2013. "Teaching the Tax Code: Earnings Responses to an Experiment with EITC Recipients," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, January.
  8. Li Liu & Rosanne Altshuler, 2011. "Measuring the burden of the corporate income tax under imperfect competition," Working Papers 1105, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  9. R. Alison Felix, 2007. "Passing the burden: corporate tax incidence in open economies," Regional Research Working Paper RRWP 07-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  10. Holger Alda & Stefan Bender & Hermann Gartner, 2005. "European Data Watch: The linked employer-employee dataset created from the IAB establishment panel and the process-produced data of the IAB (LIAB)," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 125(2), pages 327-336.
  11. Dwenger, Nadja & Rattenhuber, Pia & Steiner, Viktor, 2013. "Sharing the burden? Empirical evidence on corporate tax incidence," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80040, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  12. Barth, Erling & Zweimuller, Josef, 1995. " Relative Wages under Decentralized and Corporatist Bargaining Systems," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(3), pages 369-84, September.
  13. R. Alison Felix & James R. Hines, Jr., 2009. "Corporate Taxes and Union Wages in the United States," NBER Working Papers 15263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Arnold C. Harberger, 1962. "The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 215.
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