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Corporate Taxation and the Impact of Governance, Political and Economic Factors


  • Marcel Gérard
  • Fernando M.M. Ruiz


In this paper we first use two international data sets to investigate how governance, political and economic factors influence corporate tax rates. We show that institutional and political factors matter: good governance reduces the tax rate; a parliamentary system, especially a plurality election system, and religious or nationalist executives too, push tax rates upward. Traditional variables also matter: economic openness has a negative effect on tax rates although market size has a positive one. Though it is not robust, interaction among neighbors also plays a role. Then we turn to theory and extend a standard model of tax competition to provide a channel for the elements set forth so far to influence tax rates formation; nested in the economic theory of lobbying that exercise provides our empirical investigation with theoretical foundations.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Gérard & Fernando M.M. Ruiz, 2009. "Corporate Taxation and the Impact of Governance, Political and Economic Factors," CESifo Working Paper Series 2904, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2904

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Freille, Sebastian & Haque, Mohammad Emranul & Kneller, Richard Anthony, 2007. "Federalism, decentralisation and corruption," MPRA Paper 27535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
    3. European Commission, 2001. "Company Taxation in the Internal Market," Taxation Studies 0005, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    4. Lorz, Oliver, 1998. "Capital mobility, tax competition, and lobbying for redistributive capital taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 265-279, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hansson, Åsa & Porter, Susan & Perry Williams, Susan, 2012. "The Effect of Political and Economic Factors on Corporate Tax Rates," Working Paper Series 942, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. European Commission, 2012. "Tax reforms in EU Member States - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability – 2012 Report," Taxation Papers 34, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    3. Osterloh, Steffen & Debus, Marc, 2012. "Partisan politics in corporate taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 192-207.
    4. Åsa Hansson & Susan Porter & Susan Williams, 2015. "The importance of the political process on corporate tax policy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 281-306, September.

    More about this item


    institutions and taxation; tax competition; lobbying;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects


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