Taxation

Rüdiger Bachmann, Benjamin Born, Olga Goldfayn-Frank, Georgi Kocharkov, Ralph Luetticke, Michael Weber, 20 November 2021

Unconventional fiscal policy acts as a potential stimulus because higher expected future prices should incentivise spending today. This column shows that the temporary reduction in Germany’s value added tax in the second half of 2020 led to a 36% increase in durable spending for individuals with a high perceived price pass-through, along with an increase in semi- and non-durable spending. In total, aggregate consumption spending rose by about €34 billion. Unlike unconventional monetary policy, which often relies on consumer sophistication, the stabilisation success of the temporary VAT cut was partly related to its simplicity.

Cameron LaPoint, Shogo Sakabe, 08 November 2021

Growing spatial inequality has led policymakers to offer firms tax breaks to attract investment and jobs to economically peripheral regions. This column examines a place-based bonus depreciation scheme in Japan which granted high-tech manufacturers immediate cost deductions from their corporate income tax bill. The policy generated big gains in employment and investment in building construction and in machines at pre-existing production sites. This response was driven by firms which rely on costly but long-lived capital inputs like industrial machines. How firms react to spatially targeted tax incentives ultimately depends on their internal network and their composition of intermediate capital inputs. 

Fotis Delis, Manthos Delis, Luc Laeven, Steven Ongena, 11 October 2021

Profit shifting has come to the fore with the recently released Pandora Papers. This column uses a new global profit-shifting database covering 95 countries to show that profit shifting on average has gradually declined since 2011 following efforts from governments and international organisations to contain the practice, most notably the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting initiative. But firms across industries with high shares of intangible assets display an increase in profit shifting. 

Simeon Djankov, 08 October 2021

More than 130 countries have lined up in favour of a global redesign of corporate taxes. The redesign calls for multinational giants to pay their ‘fair share’ of taxes rather than running off to tax havens. This column argues that as popular as this goal may be, finding practical ways to achieve it remains problematic. Simpler approaches have a better chance of succeeding.

Vincent Aussilloux, Jean-Charles Bricongne, Samuel Delpeuch, Margarita Lopez Forero, 21 September 2021

French multinational enterprises have been expanding their activity abroad, including for profit-shifting purposes. These tax planning activities may alter the measurement and our understanding of their real activity. This column uses French micro-data from 1997 to 2015 to show that firm-measured productivity declines in the years following multinationals’ establishment of tax havens. Had these new presences in tax havens not been established, the annual growth of French aggregate labour productivity would have been 0.06% higher, which is tantamount to 9.7% of the observed annual aggregate labour productivity growth. 

Other Recent Articles:

Events

CEPR Policy Research