Tax Law Changes, Income Shifting and Measured Wage Inequality: Evidence from India
We use a large dataset covering all registered plants in the manufacturing sector in India over the period 1986 to 1995 to examine the effects of a 1992 income tax law change that eliminated the double taxation of wages paid to partners in partnership firms. This tax law change provides a unique opportunity to identify the effects of tax policy changes on firm behavior in a developing country context. Since the change provided incentives for shifting income from wages to profits, it also has important implications for certain measures of wage inequality. We find an immediate and pervasive response by partnership firms to the tax law change, reflected in a significant shifting of income from profits to managerial wages. Since about 50 percent of registered manufacturing plants are incorporated in the form of partnerships (including most family-run businesses), income shifting by these firms could have a significant impact on measured wage inequality. We find a sizeable jump in the mean and median relative wage of skilled workers (which includes managers and partners) following the tax law change in 1992. This sudden increase in measured wage inequality follows major trade liberalization and deregulation reforms announced earlier (in July 1991). We find that the income shifting induced by the tax law change explains almost all of the observed increase in measured wage inequality following these reforms. This finding is robust to inclusion of controls for a number of other potential sources of post-liberalization increases in wage inequality. Our results show that firms respond strongly to tax incentives for income shifting, and highlight the need to control for the potential effects of tax incentives in studies of wage inequality.
|Date of creation:||May 2006|
|Publication status:||published as Sivadasan, Jagadeesh & Slemrod, Joel, 2008. "Tax law changes, income-shifting and measured wage inequality: Evidence from India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2199-2224, October.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gordon H. Hanson & Ann Harrison, 1999. "Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality in Mexico," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 271-288, January.
- Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason & Roger H. Gordon, 1994.
"How Much Do Taxes Discourage Incorporation?,"
- repec:ntj:journl:v:51:y:1998:i:n._4:p:773-88 is not listed on IDEAS
- Cragg, Michael Ian & Epelbaum, Mario, 1996. "Why has wage dispersion grown in Mexico? Is it the incidence of reforms or the growing demand for skills?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 99-116, October.
- Verhoogen, Eric A, 2007.
"Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6385, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Verhoogen, Eric, 2007. "Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 2913, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
- Revenga, Ana, 1997. "Employment and Wage Effects of Trade Liberalization: The Case of Mexican Manufacturing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 20-43, July.
- Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James R. Tybout, 2001. "Plant- and Firm-Level Evidence on "New" Trade Theories," NBER Working Papers 8418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(4), pages 773-788, December.
- Daron Acemoglu, 1999.
"Patterns of Skill Premia,"
NBER Working Papers
7018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2006. "The Role of Family in Family Firms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 73-96, Spring.
- Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995.
"Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages,"
Department of Economics
95-14, California Davis - Department of Economics.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," NBER Working Papers 5121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Papers 95-14, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
- Jere R. Behrman & Nancy Birdsall & Miguel Székely, 2003. "Economic Policy and Wage Differentials in Latin America," Working Papers 29, Center for Global Development.
- Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Adrian Wood, 1995. "How Trade Hurt Unskilled Workers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 57-80, Summer.
- Nina Pavcnik, 2000.
"What Explains Skill Upgrading in Less Developed Countries?,"
NBER Working Papers
7846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "What explains skill upgrading in less developed countries?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 311-328, August.
- F. Zilibotti & P. Aghion & R. Burgess, 2004. "The Unequal Effects of Trade Liberalization: Theory and Evidence from India," 2004 Meeting Papers 40, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "Are "Real" Responses to Taxes Simply Income Shifting Between Corporate and Personal Tax Bases?," NBER Working Papers 6576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Miguel Székely & Nancy Birdsall & Jere R. Behrman, 2000.
"Economics Reform and Wage Differentials in Latin America,"
Research Department Publications
4235, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Miguel Székely & Nancy Birdsall & Jere R. Behrman, 2000. "Economics Reform and Wage Differentials in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6476, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997.
"Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Angus Deaton & Valerie Kozel, 2005. "Data and Dogma: The Great Indian Poverty Debate," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 177-199.
- Paolo Epifani, 2002.
"Trade Liberalization, Firm Performance and Labor Market Outcomes in the Developing World What Can We Learn From Micro-Level Data?,"
KITeS Working Papers
138, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Feb 2003.
- Epifani Paolo, 2003. "Trade liberalization, Firm Performances and Labor Market Outcomes in the Developing World, what Can We Learn From Micro-Level Data?," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 455-486.
- Paolo Epifani, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Firm Performance and Labour Market Outcomes in the Developing World: What Can We Learn from Micro-LevelData?," Development Working Papers 172, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
- Epifani, Paolo, 2003. "Trade liberalization, firm performance, and labor market outcomes in the developing world : what can we learn from micro-level data?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3063, The World Bank.
- Mathias Thoenig & Thierry Verdier, 2003.
"A Theory of Defensive Skill-Biased Innovation and Globalization,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 709-728, June.
- Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "A Theory of Defensive Skill-based Innovation and Globalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Erik Fjaerli & Diderik Lund, 2001. "The choice between owner's wages and dividends under the dual income tax," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 104-119, Autumn.
- Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2004. "Trade, Inequality, and Poverty: What Do We Know? Evidence from Recent Trade Liberalization Episodes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 10593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wood Júnior, Thomaz, 1995. "Workers," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 35(2), January.
- Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1993. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U.S. Manufacturing Industries: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 4255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12240. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.