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A Partial Race to the Bottom; Corporate Tax Developments in Emerging and Developing Economies

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  • Junhyung Park
  • Sukhmani Bedi
  • S. M. Ali Abbas
  • Alexander D Klemm

Abstract

This paper assembles a new dataset on corporate income tax regimes in 50 emerging and developing economies over 1996-2007 and analyzes their impact on corporate tax revenues and domestic and foreign investment. It computes effective tax rates to take account of complicated special regimes, such as partial tax holidays, temporarily reduced rates and increased investment allowances. There is evidence of a partial race to the bottom: countries have been under pressure to lower tax rates in order to lure and boost investment. In the case of standard tax systems (i.e. tax rules applying under normal circumstances), the effective tax rate reductions have not been larger than those witnessed in advanced economies, and revenues have held up well over the sample period. However, a race to the bottom is evident among special regimes, most notably in the case of Africa, creating effectively a parallel tax system where rates have fallen to almost zero. Regression analysis reveals higher tax rates adversely affect domestic investment and FDI, but do raise revenues in the short-run.

Suggested Citation

  • Junhyung Park & Sukhmani Bedi & S. M. Ali Abbas & Alexander D Klemm, 2012. "A Partial Race to the Bottom; Corporate Tax Developments in Emerging and Developing Economies," IMF Working Papers 12/28, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:mje:mjejnl:v:14:y:2018:i:1:p:133-141 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Regis, Paulo José & Cuestas, Juan Carlos & Chen, Yang, 2015. "Corporate tax in Europe: Towards convergence?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 9-12.
    3. Thomas Gresik & Dirk Schindler & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2015. "The Effect of Tax Havens on Host Country Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 5314, CESifo Group Munich.
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    5. Mitra, Shalini, 2014. "Tax Evasion, Tax Policies and the Role Played by Financial Markets," MPRA Paper 58977, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Ernesto Crivelli & Ruud De Mooij & Michael Keen, 2016. "Base Erosion, Profit Shifting and Developing Countries," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 72(3), pages 268-301, September.
    7. Cobham, Alex & Janský, Petr, 2017. "Global distribution of revenue loss from tax avoidance - Re-estimation and country results," Working Papers 13662, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:87-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Thomas Hemmelgarn & Daniel Teichmann, 2014. "Tax reforms and the capital structure of banks," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 645-693, August.
    10. World Bank Group, 2015. "The Republic of Benin Diagnostic Trade Integration Study Update," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22968, The World Bank.
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      [Rapport sur la diversification et la compétitivité des exportations en République Gabonaise : Améliorer le climat d'investissement pour dive
      ," World Bank Other Operational Studies 21806, The World Bank.
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    14. repec:zbw:rwirep:0389 is not listed on IDEAS
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    16. Elek, Péter & Lőrincz, László, 2015. "Az effektív társasági adókulcs rugalmassága Magyarországon a 2009-2011 közötti adókulcscsökkentés alapján
      [The elasticity of the effective corporate tax rate in Hungary: evidence from the tax cut b
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 27-47.
    17. Jozef Pacolet & Joris Vanormelingen, 2015. "Illicit Financial Flows: concepts and first macro estimates for Belgium and its 18 preferred partner countries," BeFinD Working Papers 0110, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate taxes; Cross country analysis; Developing countries; Emerging markets; Investment; Fiscal policy; Tax policy; Tax systems; Effective Tax Rates; Corporate Income Tax; Special Economic Zones; Low-Income Countries; Developing Economies; tax rate; tax competition; corporate tax; tax revenues; Business Taxes and Subsidies including sales and value-added (VAT);

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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