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Developments in the Taxation of Corporate Profit in the OECD since 1965: Rates, Bases and Revenues

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  • Michael P Devereux

    () (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, IFS, CEPR and CESifo)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael P Devereux, 2007. "Developments in the Taxation of Corporate Profit in the OECD since 1965: Rates, Bases and Revenues," Working Papers 0704, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  • Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:0704
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    File URL: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Business_Taxation/Docs/Publications/Working_Papers/Series_07/WP0704.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
    2. Devereux, Michael P & Griffith, Rachel, 2003. "Evaluating Tax Policy for Location Decisions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(2), pages 107-126, March.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach, 2006. "Who Bears the Corporate Tax? A Review of What We Know," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 20, pages 1-40 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alan J. Auerbach & James M. Poterba, 1987. "Why Have Corporate Tax Revenues Declined?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 1-28 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Slemrod, Joel, 2004. "Are corporate tax rates, or countries, converging?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1169-1186, June.
    6. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
    7. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2007. "International Profit Shifting within European Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Michael Devereux & Alexander Klemm, 2003. "Measuring taxes on income from capital: evidence from the UK," IFS Working Papers W03/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Owen M. Zidar, 2017. "The Structure of State Corporate Taxation and its Impact on State Tax Revenues and Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 23653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gerdie Everaert & Freddy Heylen & Ruben Schoonackers, 2015. "Fiscal policy and TFP in the OECD: measuring direct and indirect effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 605-640, September.
    3. Streif, Frank, 2015. "Tax competition in Europe: Europe in competition with other world regions?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-082, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Ernesto Crivelli & Ruud De Mooij & Michael Keen, 2016. "Base Erosion, Profit Shifting and Developing Countries," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 72(3), pages 268-301, September.
    5. Dwenger, Nadja & Steiner, Viktor, 2008. "Effective profit taxation and the elasticity of the corporate income tax base: Evidence from German corporate tax return data," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 57, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    6. Ruud A. de Mooij & Ikuo Saito, 2014. "Japan’s Corporate Income Tax; Facts, Issues and Reform Options," IMF Working Papers 14/138, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Aleksandra Riedl & Silvia Rocha-Akis, 2007. "Testing the tax competition theory: How elastic are national tax bases in western Europe?," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp112, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    8. Fossen, Frank M. & Steiner, Viktor, 2014. "The tax-rate elasticity of local business profits," Discussion Papers 2014/28, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    9. Sanz Labrador, Ismael & Sanz-Sanz, José Félix, 2013. "Política fiscal y crecimiento económico: consideraciones microeconómicas y relaciones macroeconómicas," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 134, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    10. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2015. "The revenue and base effects of local tax hikes: Evidence from a quasi-experiment," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 257, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    11. Crafts, Nicholas, 2012. "Creating Competitive Advantage: Policy Lessons from History," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 91, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    12. John W. Diamond & George R. Zodrow & Thomas S. Neubig & Robert J. Carroll, 2014. "The Dynamic Economic Effects of a US Corporate Income Tax Rate Reduction," Working Papers 1405, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    13. Zodrow, George R., 2010. "Capital Mobility and Capital Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 63(4), pages 865-901, December.
    14. Riedl, Aleksandra & Rocha-Akis, Silvia, 2007. "Testing the tax competition theory: How elastic are national tax bases in western Europe?," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 860, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    15. Laura Kawano & Joel Slemrod, 2016. "How do corporate tax bases change when corporate tax rates change? With implications for the tax rate elasticity of corporate tax revenues," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(3), pages 401-433, June.
    16. Epstein, Brendan & Mukherjee, Rahul & Ramnath, Shanthi, 2016. "Taxes and international risk sharing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 310-326.
    17. Simon Loretz, 2008. "Corporate taxation in the OECD in a wider context," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 639-660, winter.
    18. Bräutigam, Rainer & Spengel, Christoph & Stutzenberger, Kathrin, 2017. "The development of corporate tax structures in the European Union from 1998 to 2015 - Qualitative and quantitative analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-034, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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