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Competition from Low-wage Countries and the Decline of Corporate Tax Rates: Evidence from European Integration

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  • Michael Overesch
  • Johannes Rincke

Abstract

Abstract We exploit the rapid economic integration of Eastern and Western Europe after 1989 as a natural experiment to assess the effect of international competition for mobile capital on corporate tax rates. By means of a series of difference-in-difference estimations, we show that Western European countries which have been directly exposed to neighbours in Eastern Europe have reacted to the intensified competition by cutting their corporate tax rates by 8.1 to 10.5 percentage points relative to those countries which do not share a common border with countries in Eastern Europe. It seems that this effect has mainly worked through Eastern European countries offering lower wages and less through competition over corporate tax rates. Copyright 2009 The Author. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Overesch & Johannes Rincke, 2009. "Competition from Low-wage Countries and the Decline of Corporate Tax Rates: Evidence from European Integration," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(9), pages 1348-1364, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:32:y:2009:i:9:p:1348-1364
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
    7. Peter Schwarz, 2007. "Does capital mobility reduce the corporate-labor tax ratio?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 363-380, March.
    8. Hannes Winner, 2005. "Has Tax Competition Emerged in OECD Countries? Evidence from Panel Data," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(5), pages 667-687, September.
    9. Carstensen, Kai & Toubal, Farid, 2004. "Foreign direct investment in Central and Eastern European countries: a dynamic panel analysis," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 3-22, March.
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    11. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adam, Antonis & Kammas, Pantelis & Lagou, Athina, 2013. "The effect of globalization on capital taxation: What have we learned after 20years of empirical studies?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 199-209.
    2. Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2012. "Tax and the city: A theory of local tax competition and evidence for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-005, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Mittermaier, Ferdinand & Rincke, Johannes, 2013. "Do countries compensate firms for international wage differentials?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-36.
    4. Johannes Becker & Ronald B. Davies, 2013. "Learning and international policy diffusion: the case of corporate tax policy," Working Papers 1319, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    5. Davies, Ronald B. & Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, 2013. "A race to the bottom in labor standards? An empirical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-14.
    6. Osterloh, Steffen & Debus, Marc, 2012. "Partisan politics in corporate taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 192-207.
    7. Michael Overesch & Johannes Rincke, 2011. "What Drives Corporate Tax Rates Down? A Reassessment of Globalization, Tax Competition, and Dynamic Adjustment to Shocks," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(3), pages 579-602, September.
    8. Johannes Becker & Ronald B. Davies, 2015. "Learning to Tax ?- Interjurisdictional Tax Competition under Incomplete Information," Working Papers 201519, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

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