IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/btx/wpaper/1205.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Income Taxation and Business Incorporation: Evidence from the Early Twentieth Century

Author

Listed:
  • Li Liu

    (Centre for Business Taxation, University of Oxford)

Abstract

If the corporate income tax is set at a different rate from non-corporate in-come tax, it can play an important role in a firm’s choice of organizational form. The impact and interdependency of income tax incentives are crucial factors in the formation of designing efficient tax policies. In this paper I exploit the variation in income taxes across U.S. states in the early twentieth century to estimate these sensitivities. Potential endogeneity of state taxes is addressed using an IV approach. The results demonstrate that the relative taxation of corporate to personal income has a significant impact on the corporate share of economic activities. On average, a one percent increase in corporate taxes is associated with 0.2-0.3 percent decreases the corporate share of economic activities, whereas a one per-cent increase in personal taxes raises the corporate share of economic activities by 0.5-0.6 percent.

Suggested Citation

  • Li Liu, 2012. "Income Taxation and Business Incorporation: Evidence from the Early Twentieth Century," Working Papers 1205, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  • Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:1205
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Business_Taxation/Docs/Publications/Working_Papers/Series_12/WP1205-final.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Joseph Wallis, 2000. "American Government Finance in the Long Run: 1790 to 1990," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 61-82, Winter.
    2. Guinnane, Timothy & Harris, Ron & Lamoreaux, Naomi R. & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2007. "Putting the Corporation in its Place," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 687-729, September.
    3. Gordon, Roger H. & MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K., 1994. "Tax distortions to the choice of organizational form," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 279-306, October.
    4. Ruud Mooij & Gaëtan Nicodème, 2008. "Corporate tax policy and incorporation in the EU," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 478-498, August.
    5. Feld, Lars P. & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2003. "The impact of corporate and personal income taxes on the location of firms and on employment: some panel evidence for the Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 129-155, January.
    6. Da Rin, Marco & Di Giacomo, Marina & Sembenelli, Alessandro, 2011. "Entrepreneurship, firm entry, and the taxation of corporate income: Evidence from Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9), pages 1048-1066.
    7. 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.
    8. Goolsbee, Austan & Maydew, Edward L., 2000. "Coveting thy neighbor's manufacturing: the dilemma of state income apportionment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 125-143, January.
    9. Mackie-Mason, Jeffrey K & Gordon, Roger H, 1997. "How Much Do Taxes Discourage Incorporation?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 477-505, June.
    10. Hines, James R, Jr, 1996. "Altered States: Taxes and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in America," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1076-1094, December.
    11. Charles H. Schmidt & Ralph A. Young, 1943. "The Effect of War on Business Financing: Manufacturing and Trade, World War I," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number unkn43-3, May.
    12. Goolsbee, Austan, 2004. "The impact of the corporate income tax: evidence from state organizational form data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2283-2299, September.
    13. Peter Egger & Christian Keuschnigg & Hannes Winner, 2008. "Incorporation and Taxation: Theory and Firm-level Evidence," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2008 2008-20, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    14. Charles E. McLure Jr., 1981. "The Elusive Incidence of the Corporate Income Tax: The State Case," Public Finance Review, , vol. 9(4), pages 395-413, October.
    15. Goolsbee, Austan, 1998. "Taxes, organizational form, and the deadweight loss of the corporate income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 143-152, July.
    16. Marco Pagano & Ailsa Röell, 1998. "The Choice of Stock Ownership Structure: Agency Costs, Monitoring, and the Decision to Go Public," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 187-225.
    17. Naomi R. Lamoreaux, 2005. "Legal Regime and Contractual Flexibility: A Comparison of Business's Organizational Choices in France and the United States during the Era of Industrialization," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 28-61.
    18. Evans, George Heberton, 1941. "Business Incorporations: Their Nature and Significance1," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(S1), pages 67-85, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. On the effects of income tax to the private businesses
      by bearodr in NEP-HIS blog on 2012-11-08 18:23:20

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lejour, Arjan & Massenz, Gabriella, 2020. "Income Shifting and Organizational Form Choice : Evidence from Europe," Discussion Paper 2020-013, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Waseem, Mazhar, 2018. "Taxes, informality and income shifting: Evidence from a recent Pakistani tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 41-77.
    3. Bergner, Sören Martin & Bräutigam, Rainer & Evers, Maria Theresia & Spengel, Christoph, 2017. "The use of SME tax incentives in the European Union," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-006, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Michael P. Donohoe & Gary A. McGill & Edmund Outslay, 2014. "Risky Business: The Prosopography of Corporate Tax Planning," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 67(4), pages 851-874, December.
    5. Tazhitdinova, Alisa, 2020. "Are changes of organizational form costly? Income shifting and business entry responses to taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lejour, Arjan & Massenz, Gabriella, 2020. "Income Shifting and Organizational Form Choice : Evidence from Europe," Other publications TiSEM 3138edef-d645-4113-9981-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Jarkko Harju & Tuomas Kosonen, 2012. "The Impact of Tax Incentives on the Economic Activity of Entrepreneurs," NBER Working Papers 18442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Xavier Giroud & Joshua Rauh, 2017. "State Taxation and the Reallocation of Business Activity: Evidence from Establishment-Level Data," Working Papers 17-02, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Waseem, Mazhar, 2018. "Taxes, informality and income shifting: Evidence from a recent Pakistani tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 41-77.
    5. Tazhitdinova, Alisa, 2020. "Are changes of organizational form costly? Income shifting and business entry responses to taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).
    6. Xavier Giroud & Joshua Rauh, 2015. "State Taxation and the Reallocation of Business Activity: Evidence from Establishment-Level Data," NBER Working Papers 21534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Elschner, Christina, 2013. "Special tax regimes and the choice of organizational form: Evidence from the European Tonnage Taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 206-216.
    8. Xavier Giroud & Joshua D. Rauh, 2016. "State Taxation and the Reallocation of Business Activity: Evidence from Establishment-Level Data," Economics Working Papers 16103, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    9. Kazuki Onji & John P. Tang, 2015. "A nation without a corporate income tax: Evidence from nineteenth century Japan," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 15-12, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    10. Bergner, Sören Martin & Bräutigam, Rainer & Evers, Maria Theresia & Spengel, Christoph, 2017. "The use of SME tax incentives in the European Union," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-006, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    11. Christian Keuschnigg & Peter Egger & Hannes Winner, 2010. "A Theory of Taxation and Incorporation," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-25, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    12. Onji, Kazuki & Tang, John P., 2017. "Taxes and the Choice of Organizational Form in Late Nineteenth Century Japan," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 440-472, June.
    13. Peter Egger & Christian Keuschnigg & Hannes Winner, 2008. "Incorporation and Taxation: Theory and Firm-level Evidence," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2008 2008-20, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    14. Christian Keuschnigg & Evelyn Ribi, 2010. "Business Taxation, Corporate Finance and Economic Performance," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-04, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    15. Goolsbee, Austan & Maydew, Edward L., 2000. "Coveting thy neighbor's manufacturing: the dilemma of state income apportionment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 125-143, January.
    16. Michael P. Devereux & Li Liu & Simon Loretz, 2014. "The Elasticity of Corporate Taxable Income: New Evidence from UK Tax Records," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 19-53, May.
    17. Gaëtan Nicodème, 2008. "Corporate Income Tax and Economic Distortions," Working Papers CEB 08-033.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    18. Keuschnigg, Christian & Egger, Peter & Winner, Hannes, 2011. "Taxation and Incorporation," VfS Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48729, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    19. Haufler, Andreas & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2014. "Entrepreneurial innovations and taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 13-31.
    20. Ruud Mooij & Gaëtan Nicodème, 2008. "Corporate tax policy and incorporation in the EU," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(4), pages 478-498, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate income tax; Personal income tax; Incorporation; Early Twentieth Century;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:1205. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sbsoxuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Dongxian Guo The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Dongxian Guo to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sbsoxuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.