Tax Cuts, Firm Growth, and Worker Earnings: Evidence from Small Businesses in Canada

Mr. Yige DUAN, PhD Candidate in Economics, University of British Columbia

Date:         9 March 2023 (Thursday)
Time:        10:30am – 11:30am
Venue:      Online via Zoom
Host:        Prof. Yan LIN, Assistant Professor of Business Intelligence and Analytics
Zoom Link:  https://umac.zoom.us/j/98820713309


This paper assesses the effects of corporate tax reductions for small businesses on their growth and employee earnings. Following a 2014 reform in Quebec, Canada, firms that received tax cuts increase their employment, payrolls, and capital stock by 1.7 percent, 2.3 percent, and 3.2 percent, respectively, relative to unaffected firms. In turn, these firms experience 5.2 percent, 0.4 percentage points, and 890 dollars increases in their sales, profit margins, and EBITDA per worker. Furthermore, annual earnings increase by 1.3 percent for workers in treated firms relative to workers in control firms. We estimate that workers without ownership in their own firms bear about a third of corporate tax burdens, and combined workers (with or without ownership) bear about three quarters of the tax burdens. Additionally, the effects are larger for firms and workers in high-growth and high-tech industries, suggesting a cash-flow channel playing an important role behind our results. Taken together, these findings suggest that tax incentives designed for small businesses may lead to significant increases in their growth and worker earnings, and targeting a specific sector or industry when designing corporate tax cuts may be an effective way to stimulate growth and employment in the economy.


Mr. Yige DUAN is a PhD candidate in Economics at University of British Columbia. He obtained a Master of Science (MSc)’s degree in Economics from National University of Singapore. He then worked as a pre-doc research assistant at the National University of Singapore. His research foci are labor and urban economics. His article appeared on Management Science.

All are welcome!