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Corporate Tax Cuts and the Decline of the Labor Share

Author

Listed:
  • Baris Kaymak

    (Universite de Montreal)

  • Immo Schott

    (Université de Montréal)

Abstract

We document a strong empirical connection between corporate taxation and the labor’s share of income in the manufacturing sector across OECD countries. The estimates indicate that the decline in corporate taxes is, on average, associated with 40% of the observed decline in labor’s share. We then present a model of industry dynamics where firms differ in their capital intensity as well as their productivity. A drop in the corporate tax rate reduces the labor share by shifting the distribution of production towards capital intensive firms. Industry con- centration rises as a result, and firm entry falls, consistent with the US experience documented in Kehrig and Vincent (2017) and Autor et al. (2017). Calibration of the model to the US economy indicates that corporate tax cuts explain at least a third of the decline in labor’s share in the US manufacturing industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Baris Kaymak & Immo Schott, 2018. "Corporate Tax Cuts and the Decline of the Labor Share," 2018 Meeting Papers 943, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed018:943
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Matthias Kehrig & Nicolas Vincent, 2018. "The Micro-Level Anatomy of the Labor Share Decline," NBER Working Papers 25275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. David Autor & David Dorn & Lawrence F Katz & Christina Patterson & John Van Reenen, 2020. "The Fall of the Labor Share and the Rise of Superstar Firms [“Automation and New Tasks: How Technology Displaces and Reinstates Labor”]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(2), pages 645-709.
    3. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    4. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    5. Gravelle, Jane G., 2004. "The Corporate Tax: Where Has It Been and Where Is It Going?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 57(4), pages 903-923, December.
    6. Nicolas Vincent & Matthias Kehrig, 2017. "Growing Productivity without Growing Wages: The Micro-Level Anatomy of the Aggregate Labor Share Decline," 2017 Meeting Papers 739, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Corporate Tax Cuts and the Decline of the Labor Share
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2018-10-14 03:13:21

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Satyajit Chatterjee & Burcu Eyigungor, 2019. "The Firm Size and Leverage Relationship and Its Implications for Entry and Concentration in a Low Interest Rate World," Working Papers 19-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    2. Akcigit, Ufuk & Ates, Sina T., 2019. "What Happened to U.S. Business Dynamism?," CEPR Discussion Papers 13669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates, 2019. "Ten Facts on Declining Business Dynamism and Lessons from Endogenous Growth Theory," CESifo Working Paper Series 7849, CESifo.
    4. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates, 2019. "Ten Facts on Declining Business Dynamism and Lessons from Endogenous Growth Theory," NBER Working Papers 25755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Drago, Bergholt & Furlanetto, Francesco & Faccioli, Nicolò Maffei, 2019. "The decline of the labor share: new empirical evidence," Working Paper 2019/18, Norges Bank.
    6. Philippe Aghion & Antonin Bergeaud & Huiyu Li & Peter Klenow & Timo Boppart, 2019. "A Theory of Falling Growth and Rising Rents," 2019 Meeting Papers 458, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates, 2019. "What Happened to U.S. Business Dynamism?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7854, CESifo.
    8. Li, Bing & Liu, Chang & Sun, Stephen Teng, 2021. "Do corporate income tax cuts decrease labor share? Regression discontinuity evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).

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