The direct incidence of corporate income tax on wages

 

Wiji Arulampalam

Michael P. Devereux

Giorgia Maffini

 

Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation WP 07/07 (2007)

 

 

We examine how far taxes on corporate income are directly shifted onto the workforce. We use data on 55,082 companies located in nine European countries over the period 1996-2003. We identify this direct shifting through cross-company variation in tax liabilities, conditional on value added per employee. Our central estimate is that $1 of additional tax reduces wages by 92 cents in the long run. The incidence of a $1 fall in value added is smaller, consistent with our wage bargaining model. We find only weak evidence of a difference in the effective incidence of taxes paid by multinational companies.