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How do VAT reforms in the service sectors impact TFP in the manufacturing sector: Firm-level evidence from China

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  • Peng, Fei
  • Peng, Langchuan
  • Wang, Zheng

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of a pilot policy reform in China that replaced the business tax (BT) with a value-added tax (VAT) for the service sectors on the total factor productivity (TFP) of manufacturing firms. Employing a difference-in-differences (DD) estimation approach, our results show that through forward and backward linkages (FLs and BLs, respectively) along the value chain, this pilot program has a positive effect on manufacturing firms’ TFP. A 1% increase in FLs (BLs) leads to an approximately 7% (16%) increase in firm productivity. This effect is larger for non-state-owned enterprises and labor-intensive firms than for other firms. Manufacturing firms with high intensities of exporting activities are affected only through BLs. Further exploration shows that this increase in productivity is realized mainly through increased specialization of firms. Our findings imply that simplification and unification of the tax system across sectors can help boost firm productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Peng, Fei & Peng, Langchuan & Wang, Zheng, 2021. "How do VAT reforms in the service sectors impact TFP in the manufacturing sector: Firm-level evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:99:y:2021:i:c:s0264999321000663
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2021.03.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    VAT pilot program; TFP; China; Forward and backward linkages;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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