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Corporate Tax Competition and the Decline of Public Investment

  • Pedro Gomes
  • Francois Pouget
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    The government’s choices of the corporate tax rate and public investment are interdependent. In particular, they both respond positively to the other. Therefore, international tax competition not only drives corporate tax rates to lower levels but might also affect negatively the stock of public capital. We build a general equilibrium model that illustrates the relation between the two variables. We then add an element of international tax competition. Our simulations show that when international tax competition drives the statutory tax rate down from 45% to 30%, public investment is reduced by 0.4% of output at the steady state. The short run effect is three times higher. The second part of our study displays an empirical analysis that corroborates the main outcome of the model. We estimate two policy functions for 21 OECD countries and find that corporate tax rate and public investment are endogenous. More precisely, a decline of 15% in the corporate tax rate reduces public investment by 0.6% to 1.1% of GDP. We also find evidence that international competition operates on both policy tools.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-09/cesifo1_wp2384.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2384.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2384
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    1. Elitzur, Ramy & Mintz, Jack, 1996. "Transfer pricing rules and corporate tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 401-422, June.
    2. Keen, Michael & Marchand, Maurice, 1997. "Fiscal competition and the pattern of public spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 33-53, October.
    3. Pedro R. D. Bom & Jenny Ligthart, 2008. "How Productive is Public Capital? A Meta-Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 2206, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2007. "Profit Shifting in the EU: Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 2043, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. 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.
    6. Kind, Hans Jarle & Midelfart, Karen Helene & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2005. "Corporate tax systems, multinational enterprises, and economic integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 507-521, March.
    7. Fabrizio Balassone & Daniele Franco, 2000. "Public investment, the Stability Pact and the ‘golden rule’," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 207-229, June.
    8. Martin Kolmar & Andreas Wagener, 2007. "Tax Competition with Formula Apportionment: The Interaction between Tax Base and Sharing Mechanism," CESifo Working Paper Series 2097, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Aaron Mehrotra & Timo Välilä, 2006. "Public Investment in Europe: Evolution and Determinants in perspective," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 27(4), pages 443-471, December.
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