IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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

  • Andreas Haufler
  • Frank Stähler

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2867.

in new window

Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2867
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich

Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  2. Long, Ngo Van & Raff, Horst & Stähler, Frank, 2008. "Innovation and Trade with Heterogeneous Firms," Kiel Working Papers 1430, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  3. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2007. "Quality versus Quantity – The Composition Effect of Corporate Taxation on Foreign Direct Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2126, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Alan Auerbach & Michael P. Devereux & Helen Simpson, 2007. "Taxing Corporate Income," CESifo Working Paper Series 2139, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Baldwin, Richard E. & Krugman, Paul, 2004. "Agglomeration, integration and tax harmonisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, February.
  6. Baldwin, Richard & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2009. "Tax reform, delocation and heterogeneous firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7340, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. James R. Hines & Eric M. Rice, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-182.
  8. Ruud de Mooij & Gaetan Nicodeme, 2007. "Corporate tax policy and incorporation in the EU," Taxation Papers 11, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission, revised Nov 2007.
  9. Borck, Rainald & Pfluger, Michael, 2006. "Agglomeration and tax competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 647-668, April.
  10. Rodney D. Ludema & Ian Wooton, 1998. "Economic Geography and the Fiscal Effects of Regional Integration," International Trade 9801001, EconWPA.
  11. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Devereux, Michael P & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2002. "Do Countries Compete Over Corporate Tax Rates?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 642, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  13. repec:dgr:uvatin:20070030 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Davin Chor, 2006. "Subsidies for FDI: Implications from a Model with Heterogenous Firms," 2006 Meeting Papers 475, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Kind, Hans Jarle & Knarvik, Karen Helene Midelfart & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2000. "Competing for capital in a 'lumpy' world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 253-274, November.
  16. Sebastian Krautheim & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2009. "Heterogeneous Firms, 'Profit Shifting' FDI and International Tax Competition," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/15, European University Institute.
  17. Harry Huizinga & Luc Laeven, 2006. "International profit shifting within multinationals: a multi-country perspective," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 260, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  18. Karolina Ekholm & Rikard Forslid & James Markusen, 2003. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 9517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Haufler, Andreas & Wooton, Ian, 2010. "Competition for firms in an oligopolistic industry: The impact of economic integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 239-248, March.
  20. Andrew.B Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in international trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3682, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  21. Alan J. Auerbach, 2007. "Why Have Corporate Tax Revenues Declined? Another Look," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 53(2), pages 153-171, June.
  22. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest & Nadine Riedel, 2010. "Corporate tax effects on the quality and quantity of FDI," Working Papers 1013, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  23. Ronald B. Davies & Carsten Eckel, 2010. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 77-102, February.
  24. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  25. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Jack Mintz, 2003. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 956, CESifo Group Munich.
  26. John Burbidge & Katherine Cuff & John Leach, 2005. "Tax Competition with Heterogeneous Firms," Working Papers 05001, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2005.
  27. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2004. "Why has the UK corporation tax raised so much revenue?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(4), pages 367-388, December.
  28. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2005. "Market size and tax competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 25-46, September.
  29. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  30. Wilson, J.D., 1990. "Tax Competition With Interregional Differences In Factor Endowments," Working Papers 4, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  31. 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.
  32. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  33. Stefan Homburg, 2007. "Germany's Company Tax Reform Act of 2008," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(4), pages 591-612, December.
  34. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2867. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.