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The Role of the Corporate Income Tax as an Automatic Stabilizer

  • Thiess Buettner
  • Clemens Fuest

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.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-09/cesifo1_wp2798.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2798.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2798
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Darrel Cohen & Glenn Follette, 1999. "The automatic fiscal stabilizers: quietly doing their thing," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-64, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Mathias Dolls & Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl, 2010. "Automatic Stabilizers and Economic Crisis: US vs. Europe," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 01-02, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  5. Alan J. Auerbach, 2009. "Implementing the New Fiscal Policy Activism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 543-49, May.
  6. von Kalckreuth, Ulf, 2008. "Financing constraints, firm level adjustment of capital and aggregate implications," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2008,11, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  7. 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.
  8. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R, 1994. "Fiscal Flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for Monetary Union in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. 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.
  10. Devereux, Michael P. & Fuest, Clemens, 2009. "Is the Corporation Tax an Effective Automatic Stabilizer?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 62(3), pages 429-37, September.
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