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The Effects of a Bonus Tax on Manager Compensation and Welfare

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  • Doina Radulescu
  • Doina Maria Radulescu

Abstract

This paper analyses the implications of a currently publicly debated issue, namely the introduction of a bonus tax. We shed light on the effects of the bonus tax on compensation components and study its incidence. We use the Principal Agent model within a two-country framework and consider two main scenarios. In the first scenario the firm cannot relocate managers between countries whereas in the second scenario relocation possibilities exist. Our findings show that the effort based compensation component always rises in the country introducing the tax such that the optimal contracts are tilted towards more effort based pay. Moreover, the bonus tax negatively affects profits and dividends and thus the incidence falls on the firm’s shareholders. With no relocation possibilities, the country that does not introduce such a tax will be worse off in terms of welfare, as the dividend income accruing to its residents declines. Accordingly, the bonus tax can be interpreted as a transfer from the worldwide shareholders to the government levying the tax. However, the welfare results may be reversed when manager relocation is an alternative. In this case, welfare in the country introducing the tax is lower than in the no relocation scenario, while the country that does not levy a bonus tax might even gain in welfare terms.

Suggested Citation

  • Doina Radulescu & Doina Maria Radulescu, 2010. "The Effects of a Bonus Tax on Manager Compensation and Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 3030, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3030
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Diego d'Andria & Ivan Savin, 2015. "Motivating innovation in a knowledge economy with tax incentives," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-004, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Hilmer, Michael, 2014. "Too many to fail - How bonus taxation prevents gambling for bailouts," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100552, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Mr. Michael Keen, 2011. "The Taxation and Regulation of Banks," IMF Working Papers 2011/206, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Hilmer, Michael, 2013. "Fiscal treatment of managerial compensation - a welfare analysis," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79703, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Diego d’Andria, 2019. "Tax policy and entrepreneurial entry with information asymmetry and learning," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(5), pages 1211-1229, October.
    6. Thomas Bauer & Thomas Kourouxous & Peter Krenn, 2018. "Taxation and agency conflicts between firm owners and managers: a review," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 11(1), pages 33-76, February.
    7. Dietl, Helmut M. & Grossmann, Martin & Lang, Markus & Wey, Simon, 2013. "Incentive effects of bonus taxes in a principal-agent model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 93-104.
    8. Voßmerbäumer, Jan, 2012. "Effizienzwirkungen einer Regulierung von Managergehältern durch das Steuerrecht," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 125, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    9. Michael Hilmer, 2014. "Bailouts, Bonuses and Bankers' Short-Termism," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-17, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    10. Gietl, Daniel & Kassner, Bernhard, 2020. "Managerial Overconfidence and Bank Bailouts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 202-222.
    11. Besley, Timothy & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2011. "Taxation and regulation of bonus pay," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58192, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Gietl, Daniel & Haufler, Andreas, 2018. "Bonus taxes and international competition for bank managers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 41-60.
    13. Diego d'Andria, 2016. "Taxation and Incentives to Innovate: A Principal-Agent Approach," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 72(1), pages 96-123, March.
    14. d’Andria, D. & Savin, I., 2018. "A Win-Win-Win? Motivating innovation in a knowledge economy with tax incentives," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 38-56.
    15. Maximilian von Ehrlich & Doina Radulescu, 2017. "The taxation of bonuses and its effect on executive compensation and risk‐taking: Evidence from the UK experience," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 712-731, September.
    16. Voßmerbäumer, Jan & Wagner, Franz W., 2013. "Steuerwirkungen betrieblicher Entgeltpolitik," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 144, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    17. Michael Hilmer, 2014. "Too Many to Fail - How Bonus Taxation Prevents Gambling for Bailouts," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-18, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    bonus tax; labor taxation; effort; manager compensation; welfare;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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