Developments in the Taxation of Corporate Profit in the OECD since 1965: Rates, Bases and Revenues
This paper describes developments in corporation taxes in the OECD over the last 40 years. It pays particular attention to the apparent divergence in the trends of the average statutory corporation tax rate and the average ratio of corporation tax revenues to GDP: the former has declined over time, while the latter has risen. It develops a simple framework for assessing the expected effect of the tax rate on tax revenues, and estimates the relationship using a panel of aggregate data for 20 OECD countries from 1965 to 2004, controlling for a measure of the tax base and other factors. There is only weak evidence of any relationship between the two. Evidence which does support a relationship is consistent with the finding of Clausing (2006) that the relationship is nonlinear, and that the implied revenue-maximising tax rate is likely to be low.
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