Incidence of Corporate Income Tax: Estimates from Indian Manufacturing Firms




The purpose of this paper is to examine the incidence of corporate tax on capital and labour in Indian manufacturing sector. The paper employs ‘Seemingly Unrelated Regression Method’ with add-up restriction based on the work of Desai, Foley and Hines (2007). The study shows that, for the manufacturing sector in India for the period 2005-19, the corporate tax has a significant adverse impact on both wages paid to employees and profit after tax. Capital owners bear 96.3% of the tax burden and labours bear only 3.7%. The adverse effect on wages is slightly higher in public firms than in private firms. The relative tax burdens of labour and capital remained the same in the pre-2008 global economic crisis and post-crisis periods. The impact on both wages and profits increase with age and size of firms but decrease with leverage. These results will be useful to policymakers and other stakeholders to take appropriate strategies to design the corporate tax policy such that it is more redistributive, and not a burden for labour in manufacturing firms in India. The paper contributes to the scant empirical literature on corporate tax incidence.


Corporate tax incidence, General Equilibrium Analysis, Indian Manufacturing firms, Panel data, SUR Estimation method

Author Bio

Dr. K.R. Shanmugam, Madras School Of Economics

Dr. K.R. Shanmugam (the Corresponding Author) is currently the Director and Professor at Madras School of Economics in India. His areas of interest are public finance, macro modelling, applied econometrics, and economics of human resources. He has published more than 50 articles in various national and international journals and edited about 5 books.