Empirical Evidence on Robot Taxation: Literature Review and Technical Analysis
29 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021
Date Written: July 9, 2021
The literature on robot taxation has continued to expand since 2018 with numerous articles now referring to empirical evidence. The evidence presented in prior studies comprises abstract modeling and statistical pattern reviews with no statistically significant findings reported to date. One article is an advocacy piece by a tech lobbyist who has purchased priority Google results for the search “robot taxation”. In some cases, technical errors are sufficient to reverse the stated results. Examples of error in empirical analyses include (i) motivated reasoning such as the failure to model simpler or best explanations (ii) lack of causal analysis (iii) tax technical errors (iv) omission of citations to conflicting theory or results (v) errors in accounting methods (vi) enhanced degrees of freedom in modeling parameters, and (vii) reliance on economic theories not reflecting robots as a fourth factor of production. The empirical evidence indicates that capital investment, such as in robots, occurs largely in higher tax nations, and that robot density is positively associated with high corporate tax rates, such as in Germany, Japan, South Korea and the Nordic states, with little or no automation occurring in tax havens where the value of tax deductions for capital investment is zero.
Keywords: Robot Taxation
JEL Classification: m21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation