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Corporate Tax Policy and Unemployment in Europe: An Applied General Equilibrium Analysis

  • Leon Bettendorf
  • Albert van der Horst
  • Ruud A. de Mooij

Abstract This paper analyses the impact of corporate taxes on structural unemployment, using an applied general equilibrium model for the European Union. We find that the unemployment and welfare effects of corporate taxes differ considerably among European countries. The magnitude of these effects rises in particular in the broadness of the corporate tax base of a country, and the strength of international spillover effects through foreign direct investment. The effect on unemployment is smaller if the substitution elasticity between labour and capital is large, if international spillover effects operate primarily via multinational profit shifting, and with small labour market imperfections. Although the effect of corporate taxes on unemployment may be smaller than the effect of labour and value-added taxes (e.g. under relatively strong real wage resistance), the welfare costs of corporate taxation are typically larger for most European countries under plausible parameters, especially under strong international spillovers. Copyright 2009 The Authors.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

Volume (Year): 32 (2009)
Issue (Month): 9 (09)
Pages: 1319-1347

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:32:y:2009:i:9:p:1319-1347
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  1. Michiel Evers & Ruud A. De Mooij & Daniel J. Van Vuuren, 2005. "What Explains the Variation in Estimates of Labour Supply Elasticities?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1633, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Michael Devereux, 2004. "Debating Proposed Reforms of the Taxation of Corporate Income in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 71-89, January.
  3. Ruud Mooij, 2005. "Will Corporate Income Taxation Survive?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 277-301, 09.
  4. Albert van der Horst, 2003. "Structural estimates of equilibrium unemployment in six OECD economies," CPB Discussion Paper 19, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  5. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, 04.
  6. Albert van der Horst & Leon Bettendorf & Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2007. "Will Corporate Tax Consolidation improve Efficiency in the EU ?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-076/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Stephen Nickell & Luca Nunziata & Wolfgang Ochel, 2005. "Unemployment in the OECD Since the 1960s. What Do We Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 1-27, 01.
  8. Leon Bettendorf & Albert van der Horst, 2006. "Documentation of CORTAX," CPB Memorandum 161, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  9. Neary, J. P. & Roberts, K. W. S., 1980. "The theory of household behaviour under rationing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42, January.
  10. Timo Tyrväinen, 1995. "Real Wage Resistance and Unemployment: Multivariate Analysis of Cointegrating Relations in 10 OECD Countries," OECD Jobs Study Working Papers 10, OECD Publishing.
  11. Leon Bettendorf & Joeri Gorter & Albert van der Horst, 2006. "Who benefits from tax competition in the European Union?," CPB Document 125, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
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