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Business taxation and wages: evidence from individual panel data

Empirical evidence on the degree of business-tax shifting to employees via the wage level is highly controversial and rare. It remains open to which extent the tax burden is shifted, whether there are differences for tax increases and decreases, or whether there exists some treatment heterogeneity, that drive the respective results. Using a large administrative panel data set, we exploit the regional variation of the German business income taxation to address these issues. Our results suggest an elasticity of wages with respect to business taxes that ranges between -0.28 to -0.46, once we control for invariant unobserved regional and individual characteristics. Workers with low bargaining power, e.g., low-skilled, are affected most from business tax shifting, indicating that business-tax incidence involves distributional effects. Finally, we find evidence for an asymmetric tax incidence.

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Paper provided by Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht in its series Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge with number 153-12.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sie:siegen:153-12
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  1. Zabel, Jeffrey E., 1997. "Estimating wage elasticities for life-cycle models of labour supply behavior," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 223-244, September.
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  10. Bender, Stefan & Haas, Anette & Klose, Christoph, 2000. "IAB Employment Subsample 1975-1995 Opportunities for Analysis Provided by the Anonymised Subsample," IZA Discussion Papers 117, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  12. Goette, Lorenz & Sunde, Uwe & Bauer, Thomas K., 2007. "Wage rigidity: Measurement, causes and consequences," Munich Reprints in Economics 20448, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Kevin A. Hassett & Aparna Mathur, 2006. "Taxes and Wages," Working Papers 49824, American Enterprise Institute.
  14. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
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  17. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Household Taxation, Income Splitting and Labor Supply Incentives: A Microsimulation Study for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 421, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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