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Tax Neutrality: Illusion or Reality? The Case of Entrepreneurship

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  • Vesa Kanniainen
  • Paolo M. Panteghini

Abstract

The theoretical work on capital income taxation has focused on conditions under which a tax system preserves investment neutrality. The trouble with such a neutrality view is that it is focused on one margin among others. The economics of start-up firms is, however, fundamentally different from the economics of established corporations. In particular, the opportunity cost of an entrepreneur should be stated in terms of forgone earnings in the labor market, adjusted for the option value of abandoning the firm throughout the lifetime. Moreover, the future-exit option interferes with the early start-up decision when a nascent entrepreneur is forward-looking. The paper shows that the requirement of start-up neutrality is not satisfied by any of the well-known investment-neutral tax systems, including the comprehensive income tax, the dividend tax, the Johansson-Samuelson tax, the cash-flow tax, and the ACE tax.

Suggested Citation

  • Vesa Kanniainen & Paolo M. Panteghini, 2013. "Tax Neutrality: Illusion or Reality? The Case of Entrepreneurship," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(2), pages 167-193, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201206)69:2_167:tniort_2.0.tx_2-v
    DOI: 10.1628/001522108X666926
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    Cited by:

    1. Del Boca, Alessandra & Fratianni, Michele & Spinelli, Franco & Trecroci, Carmine, 2010. "The Phillips curve and the Italian lira, 1861-1998," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 182-197, August.
    2. Alessandro Fedele & Paolo M. Panteghini & Sergio Vergalli, 2011. "Optimal Investment and Financial Strategies under Tax‐Rate Uncertainty," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(4), pages 438-468, November.
    3. Francesco Menoncin & Paolo Panteghini, 2009. "Retrospective Capital Gains taxation in the real world," Working Papers 0910, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
    4. Andrea Asoni & Tino Sanandaji, 2014. "Taxation and the quality of entrepreneurship," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 101-123, October.
    5. Rosella Levaggi & Francesco Menoncin, 2009. "Decentralized provision of merit and impure public goods," Working Papers 0909, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
    6. Bisin, A. & Geanakoplos, J.D. & Gottardi, P. & Minelli, E. & Polemarchakis, H., 2011. "Markets and contracts," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 279-288.
    7. Alessandro Fedele & Raffaele Miniaci, 2010. "Do Social Enterprises Finance Their Investments Differently from For-profit Firms? The Case of Social Residential Services in Italy," Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 174-189, October.
    8. Alessandro Fedele & Francesco Liucci & Andrea Mantovani, 2009. "Credit availability in the crisis: the European investment bank group," Working Papers 0913, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
    9. Martin Meier & Enrico Minelli & Herakles Polemarchakis, 2014. "Competitive markets with private information on both sides," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(2), pages 257-280, February.
    10. Monica Billio & Roberto Casarin, 2010. "Bayesian Estimation of Stochastic-Transition Markov-Switching Models for Business Cycle Analysis," Working Papers 1002, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurship; start-up neutrality; ACE tax; cash-flow tax; dividend tax; Johansson-Samuelson theorem; real options;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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