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The Structure of State Corporate Taxation and its Impact on State Tax Revenues and Economic Activity

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  • Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato
  • Owen M. Zidar

Abstract

This paper documents facts about the state corporate tax structure—tax rates, base rules, and credits—and investigates its consequences for state tax revenue and economic activity. We present three main findings. First, tax base rules and credits explain more of the variation in state corporate tax revenues than tax rates do. Second, although states typically do not offset tax rate changes with base and credit changes, the effects of tax rate changes on tax revenue and economic activity depend on the breadth of the base. Third, as states have narrowed their tax bases, the relationship between tax rates and tax revenues has diminished. Overall, changes in state tax bases have made the state corporate tax system more favorable for corporations and are reducing the extent to which tax rate increases raise corporate tax revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Owen M. Zidar, 2017. "The Structure of State Corporate Taxation and its Impact on State Tax Revenues and Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 23653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23653
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato & Owen Zidar, 2016. "Who Benefits from State Corporate Tax Cuts? A Local Labor Markets Approach with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2582-2624, September.
    2. Michael Cooper & John McClelland & James Pearce & Richard Prisinzano & Joseph Sullivan & Danny Yagan & Owen Zidar & Eric Zwick, 2016. "Business in the United States: Who Owns It, and How Much Tax Do They Pay?," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 91-128.
    3. Chirinko, Robert S. & Wilson, Daniel J., 2008. "State investment tax incentives: A zero-sum game?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2362-2384, December.
    4. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2005. "Tax bases, tax rates and the elasticity of reported income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2093-2119, December.
    5. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2005. "Fixed-Effects and Related Estimators for Correlated Random-Coefficient and Treatment-Effect Panel Data Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 385-390, May.
    6. Owen Zidar & Juan Carlos Serrato & Eduardo Morales & Pablo Fajgelbaum, 2015. "State Taxes and Spatial Misallocation," 2015 Meeting Papers 877, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Bev Dahlby & Ergete Ferede, 2012. "The effects of tax rate changes on tax bases and the marginal cost of public funds for Canadian provincial governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(6), pages 844-883, December.
    8. Michael P Devereux, 2007. "Developments in the Taxation of Corporate Profit in the OECD since 1965: Rates, Bases and Revenues," Working Papers 0704, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:2:p:393-418 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. E. Mark Curtis & Ryan Decker, 2018. "Entrepreneurship and State Taxation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-003, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl & Sebastian Siegloch, 2018. "Do Higher Corporate Taxes Reduce Wages? Micro Evidence from Germany," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 393-418, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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