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Tax Competition in a Simple Model with Heterogeneous Firms: How Larger Markets Reduce Profit Taxes

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  • Andreas Haufler
  • Frank Stähler

Abstract

An important puzzle in corporate taxation is that effective tax rates have fallen significantly while tax revenue has simultaneously risen in most countries. Moreover, the gross profitability of firms seems to be lower in high-tax countries, even though standard models of international investment would yield the opposite conclusion. We offer an explanation for these stylized facts by setting up a simple two-country model of tax competition with heterogeneous firms. In this model a unique, asymmetric Nash equilibrium can be shown to exist, provided that countries are sufficiently different with respect to their exogenous market conditions. In equilibrium the larger country levies the higher tax rate and attracts the high-cost firms. A simultaneous expansion of both markets intensifies tax competition and causes both countries to reduce their tax rates, despite higher corporate tax bases.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Haufler & Frank Stähler, 2009. "Tax Competition in a Simple Model with Heterogeneous Firms: How Larger Markets Reduce Profit Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 2867, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2867
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    Cited by:

    1. Langenmayr, Dominika & Haufler, Andreas & Bauer, Christian J., 2015. "Should tax policy favor high- or low-productivity firms?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 18-34.
    2. Becker, Johannes & Runkel, Marco, 2012. "Even small trade costs restore efficiency in tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 191-195.
    3. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2011. "Optimal tax policy when firms are internationally mobile," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(5), pages 580-604, October.
    4. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2014. "Tax Competition with Heterogeneous Firms," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 309-326.
    5. Peter Egger & Horst Raff, 2015. "Tax rate and tax base competition for foreign direct investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 777-810, October.
    6. Schwab, Thomas & Todtenhaupt, Maximilian, 2016. "Spillover from the haven: Cross-border externalities of patent box regimes within multinational firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-073, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Gresik, Thomas A., 2016. "Allowing firms to choose between separate accounting and formula apportionment taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 32-42.
    8. Yoshitomo Ogawa & Yoshiyasu Ono, 2016. "The Welfare Effects of Attracting Foreign Direct Investment in the Presence of Unemployment," ISER Discussion Paper 0959, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    9. Schwab, Thomas & Todtenhaupt, Maximilian, 2017. "Spillover from the Haven: Cross-border Externalities of Patent Box Regimes within Multinational Firms," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168148, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Krautheim, Sebastian & Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2011. "Heterogeneous firms, 'profit shifting' FDI and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 122-133, February.
    11. Sebastian Krautheim & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2016. "Wages and International Tax Competition," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 893-923, November.
    12. Becker, Johannes & Fuest, Clemens & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Corporate tax effects on the quality and quantity of FDI," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 1495-1511.
    13. Maier, Ulf, 2017. "Regulatory Competition In Capital Standards with Selection Effects among Banks," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 7, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    14. MORITA Tadashi & SAWADA Yukiko & YAMAMOTO Kazuhiro, 2016. "Subsidy Competition, Imperfect Labor Market, and Endogenous Entry of Firms," Discussion papers 16096, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    15. Itoh, Ryo, 2014. "Tax discrimination against inter-firm networks," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 25-35.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax competition; heterogeneous firms; imperfect competition;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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