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Tax competition in a simple model with heterogeneous firms: How larger markets reduce profit taxes

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  • Haufler, Andreas
  • Stähler, Frank

Abstract

An important puzzle in corporate taxation is that effective tax rates have fallen significantly while tax revenue has simultaneously risen in most countries. Moreover, the gross profitability of firms seems to be lower in high-tax countries, even though standard models of international investment would yield the opposite conclusion. We offer an explanation for these stylized facts by setting up a simple two-country model of tax competition with heterogenous firms. In this model a unique, asymmetric Nash equilibrium can be shown to exist, provided that countries are sufficiently different with respect to their exogenous market conditions. In equilibrium the larger country levies the higher tax rate and attracts the high-cost firms. A simultaneous expansion of both markets intensifies tax competition and causes both countries to reduce their tax rates, despite higher corporate tax bases.

Suggested Citation

  • Haufler, Andreas & Stähler, Frank, 2009. "Tax competition in a simple model with heterogeneous firms: How larger markets reduce profit taxes," Discussion Papers in Economics 11120, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:11120
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax competition; heterogeneous firms; imperfect competition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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