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The Role of the Corporate Income Tax as an Automatic Stabilizer

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Listed:
  • Thiess Büttner
  • Clemens Fuest

Abstract

This paper analyses the effectiveness of the corporate income tax as an automatic stabilizer. It employs a unique firm-level dataset of German manufacturers combining financial statements with firm-specific information about credit market restrictions. The results show that approximately 20 per cent of all firms report both positive taxable income and capital market restrictions. Taking account of the income tax rates and the size differences of the firms, we find that demand stabilization through the corporate income tax amounts to about 8 per cent of an initial shock to gross revenues. This stabilization effect varies over the business cycle and tends to increase during cyclical downturns.

Suggested Citation

  • Thiess Büttner & Clemens Fuest, 2009. "The Role of the Corporate Income Tax as an Automatic Stabilizer," CESifo Working Paper Series 2798, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2798
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Automatic stabilizers and economic crisis: US vs. Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 279-294.
    2. Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 2000. "The automatic fiscal stabilizers: quietly doing their thing," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Apr, pages 35-67.
    3. von Kalckreuth, Ulf, 2008. "Financing constraints, firm level adjustment of capital and aggregate implications," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2008,11, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    4. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Fiscal Federalism and Optimum Currency Areas: Evidence for Europe From the United States," NBER Working Papers 3855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Alan J. Auerbach, 2009. "Implementing the New Fiscal Policy Activism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 543-549, May.
    6. Ulf Von Kalckreuth, 2006. "Financial Constraints and Capacity Adjustment: Evidence from a Large Panel of Survey Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 691-724, November.
    7. Joseph A. Pechman, 1973. "Responsiveness of the Federal Individual Income Tax to Changes in Income," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(2), pages 385-428.
    8. Devereux, Michael P. & Fuest, Clemens, 2009. "Is the Corporation Tax an Effective Automatic Stabilizer?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 62(3), pages 429-437, September.
    9. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R., 1995. "Fiscal flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for monetary union in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 253-274, February.
    10. Alan J. Auerbach & Daniel R. Feenberg, 2000. "The Significance of Federal Taxes as Automatic Stabilizers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 37-56, Summer.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    corporate income tax; stabilization; capital market restrictions; loss offset; firm-level data;

    JEL classification:

    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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