IdEP Seminar, Enrico Rubolino - "Market Externalities of Tax Evasion"

Institute of Economics

Date: 2 February 2024 / 12:30 - 13:30

Online in MS Teams

This paper shows that tax evasion significantly distorts market competition and firm growth. Using administrative data on the universe of firms in Italy, we compute a tax evasion proxy as the fraction of individual firms who manipulate their revenue to meet eligibility criteria for several preferential tax regimes. This measure widely varies geographically, across industries, and over time within municipality-industry cells, our fine definition of a market. We examine the impact of market-level variations in tax evasion on competitor firms, defined as those non-eligible for preferential tax regimes and operating in the same market. To address endogeneity concerns, we use policy-induced changes in tax notches’ size to predict the fraction of non-compliant firms in each market. Our findings indicate that as the proportion of non-compliant firms in a market increases, their competitors suffer significant revenue losses. This unfair competition erodes firms’ productivity and reduces their survival rates. Firms respond to these losses by shifting some of the burden to workers. Our findings suggest that cracking down on tax evasion not only increases tax revenue and promotes tax fairness, but can also enhance market efficiency by leveling the playing field.

This papere is joint work with Irene Di Marzio and Sauro Mocetti.

Teams link
Meeting ID: 366 109 973 046
Passcode: yJR6mZ