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The Incidence of the Corporate Income Tax on Wages: Evidence from Canadian Provinces

Listed author(s):
  • Kenneth James McKenzie

    (University of Calgary)

  • Ergete Ferede

This paper investigates the effect of the corporate income tax (CIT) on wages using panel data for Canadian provinces. We find that the CIT has a statistically significant negative effect on wages through its adverse impact on the capital/labour ratio. The empirical results suggest that workers bear a significant part of the corporate tax in the form of lower wages. Under the standard assumption that the CIT base is unresponsive to changes in the tax rate, our estimates suggest that the reduction in aggregate wages associated with a $1 increase in provincial corporate tax revenue due to an increase in the statutory CIT rate ranges from 95 Canadian cents for Newfoundland and Labrador to C$1.74 for New Brunswick. Under the more reasonable assumption that the CIT base shrinks in response to an increase in the tax rate, the estimates range from C$1.52 for Alberta to C$3.85 for Prince Edward Island. The results are robust to various sensitivity checks.

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File URL: http://econ.ucalgary.ca/sites/econ.ucalgary.ca.manageprofile/files/unitis/publications/1-7833135/UCWP_04_2017.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Calgary in its series Working Papers with number 2017-03.

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Handle: RePEc:clg:wpaper:2017-03
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  1. Arulampalam, Wiji & Devereux, Michael P. & Maffini, Giorgia, 2012. "The direct incidence of corporate income tax on wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1038-1054.
  2. Nadja Dwenger & Pia Rattenhuber & Viktor Steiner, 2011. "Sharing the burden: Empirical evidence on corporate tax incidence," Working Papers sharing_the_burden, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
  3. Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas & Siegloch, Sebastian, 2015. "Do Higher Corporate Taxes Reduce Wages?," IZA Discussion Papers 9606, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Gravelle, Jennifer, 2013. "Corporate Tax Incidence: Review of General Equilibrium Estimates and Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 66(1), pages 185-214, March.
  5. Mutti, John & Grubert, Harry, 1985. "The taxation of capital income in an open economy: the importance of resident-nonresident tax treatment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 291-309, August.
  6. Bev Dahlby & Ergete Ferede, 2012. "The effects of tax rate changes on tax bases and the marginal cost of public funds for Canadian provincial governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(6), pages 844-883, December.
  7. Alan J. Auerbach, 2006. "Who Bears the Corporate Tax? A Review of What We Know," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 20, pages 1-40 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alison Felix, 2007. "Passing the burden: corporate tax incidence in open economies," Regional Research Working Paper RRWP 07-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  9. John F. Helliwell & Ross McKitrick, 1999. "Comparing Capital Mobility Across Provincial and National Borders," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(5), pages 1164-1173, November.
  10. William C. Randolph, 2006. "International Burdens of the Corporate Income Tax: Working Paper 2006-09," Working Papers 18067, Congressional Budget Office.
  11. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2013. "Who Pays the Corporate Tax in a Global Economy?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 66(1), pages 151-184, March.
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