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Does Incorporation Matter? Quantifying the Welfare Loss of Non-Uniform Taxation across Sectors

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Listed:
  • Doina Radulescu
  • Michael Stimmelmayr

Abstract

According to Harberger’s 1962 and 1966 seminal papers, the corporate income tax distorts the allocation of capital between the corporate and the non-corporate sector and reduces therefore aggregate output. To quantify this efficiency loss we apply a dynamic, computable, general equilibrium growth model. We compare the allocation of capital under the current, non-uniform German tax system with the allocation of capital arising from a hypothetical, sector neutral tax system where both sectors face the same effective tax burden. Our numerical results underpin the theoretical finding, that the loss in overall output is highly sensitive to the source of investment funds. Accordingly, if investments are exclusively financed via new share issues the efficiency loss amounts to nearly 2 percent of aggregate output. However, if less than half of overall investments are financed via new equity injections the efficiency loss is almost negligible.

Suggested Citation

  • Doina Radulescu & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2006. "Does Incorporation Matter? Quantifying the Welfare Loss of Non-Uniform Taxation across Sectors," ifo Working Paper Series 26, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_26
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin D. Dietz & Christian Keuschnigg, 2004. "Corporate Income Tax Reform in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(IV), pages 483-519, December.
    2. Gordon, Roger H. & MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K., 1994. "Tax distortions to the choice of organizational form," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 279-306, October.
    3. MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K, 1990. " Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1471-1493, December.
    4. McLure, Charles Jr., 1975. "General equilibrium incidence analysis : The Harberger model after ten years," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 125-161, February.
    5. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1991. "Taxation and the Cost of Capital: The "Old" View, the "New" View, and Another View," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 25-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mackie-Mason, Jeffrey K & Gordon, Roger H, 1997. " How Much Do Taxes Discourage Incorporation?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 477-505, June.
    7. Hermann, Rico A. & Spengel, Christoph & Jacobs, Otto H. & Stetter, Thorsten, 2003. "Steueroptimale Rechtsformwahl: Personengesellschaften besser als Kapitalgesellschaften," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-30, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Gravelle, Jane G & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1993. "Corporate Tax Incidence and Inefficiency When Corporate and Noncorporate Goods Are Close Substitutes," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 501-516, October.
    9. Gravelle, Jane G & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1989. "The Incidence and Efficiency Costs of Corporate Taxation When Corporate and Noncorporate Firms Produce the Same Good," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 749-780, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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