IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/diw/diwwpp/dp582.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Income Taxes and Entrepreneurial Choice: Empirical Evidence from Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Frank M. Fossen
  • Viktor Steiner

Abstract

Entrepreneurial activity is often regarded as an engine for economic growth and job creation. Through tax policy, governments possess a potential lever to influence the decisions of economic agents to start and close small businesses. In Germany, the top marginal income tax rates were reduced exclusively for entrepreneurs in 1994 and 1999/2000. These tax reforms provided two naturally defined control groups that enable us to exploit the legislation changes as "natural experiments". First, the tax rate reductions did not apply to freelance professionals (Freiberufler), and second, entrepreneurs with earnings below a certain threshold were not affected. Using data from two different sources, the SOEP and the Mikrozensus (LFS), we analyse the effect of the tax cuts on transitions into and out of self-employment and on the rate of self-employment. We apply a "difference-in-difference-in-difference" estimation technique within a discrete time hazard rate model. The results indicate that the decrease in tax rates did not have a significant effect on the self-employment decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank M. Fossen & Viktor Steiner, 2006. "Income Taxes and Entrepreneurial Choice: Empirical Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 582, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp582
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.44278.de/dp582.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert Carroll & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Mark Rider & Harvey S. Rosen, 1998. "Entrepreneurs, Income Taxes, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 6374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    3. Bruce, Donald, 2000. "Effects of the United States tax system on transitions into self-employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 545-574, September.
    4. Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
    5. Sueyoshi, Glenn T, 1995. "A Class of Binary Response Models for Grouped Duration Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 411-431, Oct.-Dec..
    6. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-535, June.
    7. repec:spr:portec:v:1:y:2002:i:2:d:10.1007_s10258-002-0010-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-641, June.
    9. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2009. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    10. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
    11. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "Balanced Skills and Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 208-211, May.
    12. Robert Carroll & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Mark Rider & Harvey Rosen, 1996. "Income Taxes and Entrepreneur' Use of Labor," Working Papers 752, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    13. Taylor, Mark P, 1999. "Survival of the Fittest? An Analysis of Self-Employment Duration in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 140-155, March.
    14. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    15. Robert Carroll & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Mark Rider & Harvey S. Rosen, 2001. "Personal Income Taxes and the Growth of Small Firms," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 15, pages 121-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Schuetze, Herb J., 2000. "Taxes, economic conditions and recent trends in male self-employment: a Canada-US comparison," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 507-544, September.
    17. Stefan Bach & Giacomo Corneo & Viktor Steiner, 2005. "Top Incomes and Top Taxes in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 532, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    18. David G. Blanchflower, 2004. "Self-Employment: More may not be better," NBER Working Papers 10286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Roger H. Gordon & Julie Berry Cullen, 2002. "Taxes and Entrepreneurial Activity: Theory and Evidence for the U.S," NBER Working Papers 9015, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Steiner, Viktor, 2001. " Unemployment Persistence in the West German Labour Market: Negative Duration Dependence or Sorting?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 91-113, February.
    21. Lazear, Edward, 2003. "Entrepreneurship," IZA Discussion Papers 760, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Yannis Georgellis & Howard J. Wall, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and the policy environment," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 95-112.
    23. Bruce, Donald, 2002. "Taxes and Entrepreneurial Endurance: Evidence from the Self-Employed," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(N. 1), pages 5-24, March.
    24. R. Glenn Hubbard & William M. Gentry, 2000. "Tax Policy and Entrepreneurial Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 283-287, May.
    25. Anders Skrondal & Sophia Rabe-Hesketh, 2007. "Latent Variable Modelling: A Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 34(4), pages 712-745.
    26. Peter Gottfried & Hannes Schellhorn, 2003. "Die Elastizität des zu versteuernden Einkommens. Messung und erste Ergebnisse zur empirischen Evidenz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland," IAW Discussion Papers 14, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
    27. Dorothea Schäfer & Oleksandr Talavera, 2005. "Entrepreneurship, Windfall Gains and Financial Constraints: The Case of Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 480, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    28. Bruce, Donald, 2002. "Taxes and Entrepreneurial Endurance: Evidence From the Self-Employed," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(1), pages 5-24, March.
    29. Carroll, Robert, et al, 2000. "Income Taxes and Entrepreneurs' Use of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 324-351, April.
    30. Simon C. Parker, 2003. "Does Tax Evasion Affect Occupational Choice?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(3), pages 379-394, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Frank M. Fossen, 2007. "Risky Earnings, Taxation and Entrepreneurial Choice: A Microeconometric Model for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 705, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz & Pierre Garello, 2014. "Tax structure and entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 165-190, January.
    3. Glocker, Daniela & Steiner, Viktor, 2007. "Self-Employment: A Way to End Unemployment? Empirical Evidence from German Pseudo-Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2561, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Fossen, Frank M., 2012. "Risk attitudes and private business equity," Discussion Papers 2012/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    5. Berthold, Norbert & Kullas, Matthias & Neumann, Michael, 2007. "Motivatoren und Demotivatoren für Unternehmer im deutschen Maschinen- und Anlagenbau," Discussion Paper Series 98, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    6. Mawussé K. N. Okey, 2011. "Institutional Reforms, Private Sector, and Economic Growth in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 040, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Berthold, Norbert & Kullas, Matthias, 2006. "Unternehmer: der Treibstoff des Wachstumsmotors!," Discussion Paper Series 89, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    8. Ruud A. De Mooij & Gaëtan J.A. Nicodème, 2006. "Corporate Tax Policy, Entrepreneurship and Incorporation in the EU," CESifo Working Paper Series 1883, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Taxation; entrepreneurship; natural experiment; difference-in-difference-in-difference estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp582. 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: (Bibliothek). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/diwbede.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.