Car Registration Taxes Across EU Countries, MNEs’ Profitability and the Role of Market Concentration

47 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2022 Last revised: 12 Sep 2022

See all articles by Pranvera Shehaj

Pranvera Shehaj

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Martin Zagler

University of Piemonte Orientale - Facoltà di Economia; Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics

Date Written: August 18, 2022

Abstract

This paper discusses the effects of one-off car registration taxes (CRT) and market concentration level on the profitability of multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in the European Union car industry. Our simple theoretical framework shows that firm’s profits depend on the demand function and therefore on taxes applied to prices. We overcome empirically the challenges of making informative theoretical predictions on the pass-through rate under imperfect competition. We find that car registration taxes, - both as ad valorem taxes and as specific taxes, - have a significant negative effect on MNEs’ profitability. Our findings show a statistically significant positive effect of market concentration on profitability. Finally, our results suggest that the degree of competitiveness in the car market moderates the effect of car registration taxes on firm profitability only in EU countries where the CRT is an ad valorem tax, with the negative effect of the ad valorem CRT becoming higher as the car market becomes less competitive.

Keywords: car registration tax (CRT), market concentration, tax incidence, profitability, multinational enterprises, EU car industry

JEL Classification: H22, L11, L12, L13, L62

Suggested Citation

Shehaj, Pranvera and Zagler, Martin, Car Registration Taxes Across EU Countries, MNEs’ Profitability and the Role of Market Concentration (August 18, 2022). WU International Taxation Research Paper Series No. 2022-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4038415 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4038415

Pranvera Shehaj (Contact Author)

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

Martin Zagler

University of Piemonte Orientale - Facoltà di Economia ( email )

Via Perrone, 18
Novara, 28100
Italy

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Economics ( email )

Augasse 2-6
A-1090 Wien
Austria

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