Our main finding is that corporate tax cuts generate a significant boost in investment and employment for the economy overall, but the benefits are spread unevenly across sectors and groups. In particular, goods producing companies —such as manufacturing firms— expand both capital expenditure and wage bills following a cut in corporate taxes, but do not alter dividend payments. The left column [of Figure 1] shows that a 1% cut in the marginal tax rate stimulates an increase in capital expenditure for goods producing firms peaking at 8% and 5% in year two following a cut in the marginal tax rate and an increase in the investment tax credit. In contrast, firms in the service sector—which are far less capital-intensive—do not increase investment or employment at all but use most of their windfall to pay dividends. In short, we find important differences in the effect on workers vs. shareholders across sectors of the economy.
- Date Posted:
- May 31, 2023
More than ever, our economy runs on ecosystems. Not just broad partnerships, large commercial deals, or expansive networks, but ecosystems. It’s to our collective interest that there’s maximum competition at the foundational platform layer and every application and service layer, too. But the cost of competition is now in the tens of billions, if not more. In a weird way, Google Cloud is cheap at $35B, but most can’t spend that much, let alone wait fifteen years for losses to end and another decade or more to generate a net return. In fact, it’s likely Google couldn’t have invested as heavily were it not for near-zero interest rates over the past decade. And that the investment wouldn’t have worked at all were it not for Google’s own ecosystem, including the consumer-facing (and Android-integrated) Google Photos, Gmail, and Drive, as well as its enterprise offerings such as Workspace. The prohibitive cost of entry has led to phenomenal profits. Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and Amazon are now 21% of the S&P (Apple and Microsoft are so large that alone, they would be the second largest sector of the S&P, behind the rest of big tech, and ahead of energy and healthcare).