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Tax progressivity and self-employment: evidence from Canadian provinces

  • Ergete Ferede

    ()

We examine the effects of personal income tax progressivity—in the sense of rising marginal income tax rate—on self-employment. The impacts of income tax progressivity on self-employment depend on the relative effects of taxing success and the presence of tax evasion opportunities. Empirical estimates using Canadian provincial data for the period 1979–2006 indicate that there is a negative association between income tax progressivity and self-employment. This suggests that the adverse impact of income tax on entrepreneurial risk-taking outweighs the tax evasion opportunities for the self-employed. An important implication of our results is that a reduction in income tax progressivity encourages self-employment. The empirical estimates are robust to the various sensitivity checks. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11187-011-9350-7
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 141-153

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Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:40:y:2013:i:1:p:141-153
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  1. Torrini, Roberto, 2005. "Cross-country differences in self-employment rates: the role of institutions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 661-683, October.
  2. Herb J. Schuetze, 2002. "Profiles of Tax Non-compliance Among the Self-Employed in Canada: 1969 to 1992," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(2), pages 219-237, June.
  3. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gordon, Roger H., 2007. "Taxes and entrepreneurial risk-taking: Theory and evidence for the U.S," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1479-1505, August.
  4. Peter J. Kuhn & Herb J. Schuetze, 2001. "Self-employment dynamics and self-employment trends: a study of Canadian men and women, 1982-1998," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(3), pages 760-784, August.
  5. Bev Dahlby, 2008. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds: Theory and Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262042509, June.
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  7. Christian Keuschnigg & Søren Bo Nielsen, 2004. "Progressive Taxation, Moral Hazard, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(3), pages 471-490, 08.
  8. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  9. Herb J. Schuetze, . "Taxes, Economic Conditions And Recent Trends in Male Self-Employment: A Canada-U.S. Comparison," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 11, McMaster University.
  10. Parker, Simon C., 1999. "The optimal linear taxation of employment and self-employment incomes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 107-123, July.
  11. van Ewijk, Casper & Tang, Paul J.G., 2007. "Unions, progressive taxes, and education subsidies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1119-1139, December.
  12. Martin T. Robson & Colin Wren, 1999. "Marginal and Average Tax Rates and the Incentive for Self-Employment," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 757-773, April.
  13. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2003. "Cluster-Sample Methods in Applied Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 133-138, May.
  14. Donald Bruce & Mohammed Mohsin, 2006. "Tax Policy and Entrepreneurship: New Time Series Evidence," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(5), pages 409-425, 06.
  15. Nadja Kamhi & Danny Leung, 2005. "Recent Developments in Self-Employment in Canada," Working Papers 05-8, Bank of Canada.
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