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The Direct Incidence of Corporate Income Tax on Wages

  • Arulampalam, Wiji

    ()

    (University of Warwick)

  • Devereux, Michael P.

    ()

    (University of Oxford)

  • Maffini, Giorgia

    ()

    (University of Oxford)

We examine the extent to which taxes on corporate income are directly shifted onto the workforce. We use data on 55,082 companies located in nine European countries over the period 1996-2003. We identify this direct shifting through cross-company variation in tax liabilities, conditional on value added per employee. Our central estimate is that the long run elasticity of the wage bill with respect to taxation is -0.093. Evaluated at the mean, this implies that an exogenous rise of $1 in tax would reduce the wage bill by 49 cents. We find only weak evidence of a difference for multinational companies.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5293.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Economic Review, 2012, 56 (6), 1038-1054
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5293
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  1. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 2002. "Evaluating Tax Policy for Location Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3247, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith, 1996. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," IFS Working Papers W96/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Slemrod, Joel, 1995. "Professional Opinions About Tax Policy: 1994 and 1934," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(1), pages 121-47, March.
  4. William C. Randolph, 2006. "International Burdens of the Corporate Income Tax: Working Paper 2006-09," Working Papers 18067, Congressional Budget Office.
  5. Alison Felix & James R. Hines, Jr., 2009. "Corporate taxes and union wages in the United States," Regional Research Working Paper RRWP 09-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  6. 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.
  7. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  8. Budd, John W. & Konings, Jozef & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2002. "Wages and International Rent Sharing in Multinational Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 560, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Van Reenen, John, 1994. "The Creation and Capture of Rents: Wages and Innovation in a Panel of UK Companies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Maurice Bun & Frank Windmeijer, 2007. "The weak instrument problem of the system GMM estimator in dynamic panel data models," CeMMAP working papers CWP08/07, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Gordon, Roger H, 1986. "Taxation of Investment and Savings in a World Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1086-1102, December.
  12. Bradford, David F., 1978. "Factor prices may be constant but factor returns are not," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 199-203.
  13. Carsten Eckel & Hartmut Egger, 2006. "Wage Bargaining and Multinational Firms in General Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 1711, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Arnold C. Harberger, 1962. "The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 215.
  15. Gravelle Jane G & Smetters Kent A., 2006. "Does the Open Economy Assumption Really Mean That Labor Bears the Burden of a Capital Income Tax?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, August.
  16. Nickell, S. & Wadhwani, S., 1989. "Insider Forces And Wage Determination," Papers 334, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  17. Shoven, John B, 1976. "The Incidence and Efficiency Effects of Taxes on Income from Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1261-83, December.
  18. R. 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.
  19. Abowd, John M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1993. "The Effects of Product Market Competition on Collective Bargaining Agreements: The Case of Foreign Competition in Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 983-1014, November.
  20. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J & Sanfey, Peter, 1996. "Wages, Profits, and Rent-Sharing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 227-51, February.
  21. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521464673 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Goerke, Laszlo, 1996. "Taxes on Payroll, Revenues and Profits in Three Models of Collective Bargaining," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 43(5), pages 549-65, November.
  23. David Roodman, 2009. "How to do xtabond2: An introduction to difference and system GMM in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(1), pages 86-136, March.
  24. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  25. Kevin A. Hassett & Aparna Mathur, 2006. "Taxes and Wages," Working Papers 49800, American Enterprise Institute.
  26. Nadine Riedel, 2011. "Taxing multi-nationals under union wage bargaining," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 399-421, August.
  27. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Tax Incidence," NBER Working Papers 1864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 1043-1092 Elsevier.
  28. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  29. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond & Frank Windmeijer, 2000. "Estimation in dynamic panel data models: improving on the performance of the standard GMM estimator," IFS Working Papers W00/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  30. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
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