Optimal Taxation With Heterogeneous Firms

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Executive Summary

The authors study steady state optimal taxation in a context where firms differ in productivity and they decide whether to produce or not after comparing after-tax profits vis-?-vis an outside alternative option. The government taxes capital income, firms' profits and labor income, but does not tax the alternative outside option. In this context, taxation might distort the firms' decisions to participate in production (extensive margin) as well as their factor allocations once they decide to produce (intensive margin). They find that the government has incentives to subsidize costs to induce firms into production. The optimal capital income tax is negative while the corporate tax rate is positive and the sign of labor income tax is ambiguous.

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