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The determinants of Italys corporate tax rates: an empirical investigation

Valentino Parisi
Assistant Professor of Public Finance, Department of Economics and Law, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Italy
. (26 DEC 2016).


This paper examines the determinants of the effective corporate tax rates in Italy in the years 1998-2006. While from its inception in the early 1970s, the Italian business income tax regime changed only marginally for over twenty years, in the period between 1998 and 2006, the corporate tax system underwent two major reforms with the declared objective of simplifying the system and reducing the tax burden on firms. Therefore, from a tax policy perspective, the author believes Italy is an interesting case study. The empirical analysis is based on a strongly balanced panel with 5,134 companies that combine company accounts and firm survey data. The author employs a fixed effects panel regression to study the role of size, the debt ratio, the rate of profitability, labor productivity, the assets composition, and internationalization in explaining heterogeneity among firms and, therefore, their effective corporate tax rate. Furthermore, the author employs a quantile regression to analyze the impact of the variation in the effect of independent variables on the effective corporate tax rate at different quantiles of the distribution, thus, providing information on the degree of heterogeneity in firm behavior with the final aim of capturing non-linear effects of the independent variables on the tax rate.

Keywords: effective corporate tax rates, tax heterogeneity, panel regression, Italy.
JEL Classification: H25, H32.