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Profit Taxation and the Elasticity of the Corporate Income Tax Base: Evidence From German Corporate Tax Return Data

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  • Dwenger, Nadja
  • Steiner, Viktor

Abstract

This paper estimates the elasticity of corporate taxable income with respect to the average corporate tax rate. To control for the endogeneity of the tax rate, we use an instrumental variable approach, calculating the counterfactual average tax rate that a corporation would have faced in a particular period had there been no endogenous change in corporate profits. This counterfactual rate is derived from a microsimulation model based on tax return data. A statistically significant and relatively large point estimate of the tax base elasticity implies that a reduction in the statutory corporate tax rate would reduce corporate tax receipts less than proportionally.

Suggested Citation

  • Dwenger, Nadja & Steiner, Viktor, 2012. "Profit Taxation and the Elasticity of the Corporate Income Tax Base: Evidence From German Corporate Tax Return Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 65(1), pages 118-150, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:65:y:2012:i:1:p:118-50
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    1. D’Erasmo, P. & Mendoza, E.G. & Zhang, J., 2016. "What is a Sustainable Public Debt?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.),Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2493-2597, Elsevier.
    2. Luisito Bertinelli & Arnaud Bourgain & Skerdilajda Zanaj, 2019. "Profit taxation and royalties: evidence from gold mines in Sub-Saharan Africa," CREA Discussion Paper Series 19-15, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    3. Enrique G. Mendoza & Linda L. Tesar & Jing Zhang, 2014. "Saving Europe?: The Unpleasant Arithmetic of Fiscal Austerity in Integrated Economies," Working Paper Series WP-2014-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    4. Best, Michael & Brockmeyer, Anne & Kleven, Henrik & Spinnewijn, Johannes & Waseem, Mazhar, 2013. "Production vs Revenue Efficiency With Limited Tax Capacity: Theory and Evidence From Pakistan," CEPR Discussion Papers 9717, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Muraközy, Balázs & Reizer, Balázs, 2017. "A magyar vállalati adózás heterogenitása [The heterogeneity of corporate taxation in Hungary]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(12), pages 1233-1264.
    6. Ladislav Mejzlík & Markéta Arltová & David Procházka & Leoš Vítek, 2015. "Implementace mezinárodních standardů účetního výkaznictví v České republice a její vliv na zdanění podniků
      [The Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards in the Czech Republic and Its
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2015(7), pages 811-832.
    7. Frank M. Fossen & Viktor Steiner, 2018. "The Tax†rate Elasticity of Local Business Profits," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 19(2), pages 162-189, May.
    8. Leoš Vítek, 2013. "Corporate Income Taxation and the Corporate Tax Base in the Czech Republic [Zdanění firem a jejich daňový základ v České republice]," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(2), pages 38-49.
    9. Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra & Héctor Zárate-Solano & Andrés Camilo Gómez-Molina, 2018. "Elasticidad del ingreso corporativo gravable en Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1046, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    10. Rema Hanna & Benjamin A. Olken, 2019. "Tax Administration vs. Tax Rates: Evidence from Corporate Taxation in Indonesia," CID Working Papers 361, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    11. Elek, Péter & Lőrincz, László, 2015. "Az effektív társasági adókulcs rugalmassága Magyarországon a 2009-2011 közötti adókulcscsökkentés alapján [The elasticity of the effective corporate tax rate in Hungary: evidence from the tax cut b," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 27-47.
    12. Blesse, Sebastian & Doerrenberg, Philipp & Rauch, Anna, 2019. "Higher taxes on less elastic goods? Evidence from German municipalities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 165-186.
    13. Bonin, Holger & Buhlmann, Florian & Siegloch, Sebastian & Stichnoth, Holger, 2019. "Aufkommens-, Verteilungs- und Arbeitsangebotswirkungen einer stufenweisen Abschaffung des Solidaritätszuschlags," IZA Research Reports 90, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Jing Zhang, 2015. "Saving Europe?," 2015 Meeting Papers 599, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Liu, Li & Altshuler, Rosanne, 2013. "Measuring the Burden of the Corporate Income Tax Under Imperfect Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 66(1), pages 215-237, March.
    16. Clifford, Sarah, 2019. "Taxing multinationals beyond borders: Financial and locational responses to CFC rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 44-71.
    17. Frank M. Fossen & Viktor Steiner, 2014. "The Tax-Rate Elasticity of Local Business Profits," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1424, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    18. Ladislav Mejzlík & Leoš Vítek & Jana Roe, 2014. "Adjustments to Accounting Profit in Determination of the Income Tax Base: Evolution in the Czech Republic," European Financial and Accounting Journal, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2014(4), pages 4-24.
    19. Nadja Dwenger & Viktor Steiner, 2014. "Financial leverage and corporate taxation: evidence from German corporate tax return data," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(1), pages 1-28, February.
    20. Camilo Gómez, 2019. "How Responsive are Firms to the Corporate Wealth Tax?," Documentos CEDE 017433, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    21. Luisito Bertinelli & Arnaud Bourgain & Abdoul Karim Diamoutene, 2017. "Corporate Effective Tax Rate in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Formal Companies of Mali," CREA Discussion Paper Series 17-18, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.

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