NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Michael Cooper

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers

October 2015Business in the United States: Who Owns it and How Much Tax Do They Pay?
with John McClelland, James Pearce, Richard Prisinzano, Joseph Sullivan, Danny Yagan, Owen Zidar, Eric Zwick: w21651
“Pass-through” businesses like partnerships and S-corporations now generate over half of U.S. business income and account for much of the post-1980 rise in the top- 1% income share. We use administrative tax data from 2011 to identify pass-through business owners and estimate how much tax they pay. We present three findings. (1) Relative to traditional business income, pass-through business income is substantially more concentrated among high-earners. (2) Partnership ownership is opaque: 20% of the income goes to unclassifiable partners, and 15% of the income is earned in circularly owned partnerships. (3) The average federal income tax rate on U.S. pass- through business income is 19%|much lower than the average rate on traditional corporations. If pass-through activity had remained at 19...

Published: Business in the United States: Who Owns it and How Much Tax Do They Pay?, Michael Cooper, John McClelland, James Pearce, Richard Prisinzano, Joseph Sullivan, Danny Yagan, Owen Zidar, Eric Zwick. in Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 30, Brown. 2016

October 2008Understanding U.S. Corporate Tax Losses
with Rosanne Altshuler, Alan J. Auerbach, Matthew Knittel: w14405
Recent data present a puzzle: the ratio of corporate tax losses to positive income was much higher around 2001 than in earlier recessions. Using a comprehensive 1982-2005 sample of U.S. corporation tax returns, we explore a variety of potential explanations for this surge in tax losses, taking account of the significant use of executive compensation stock options beginning in the 1990s and recent temporary tax provisions that might have had important effects on taxable income. We find that losses rose because the average rate of return of C corporations fell, rather than because of an increase in the dispersion of returns or an increase in the gap between corporate profits subject to tax and NIPA corporate profits. Our analysis also suggests that the increasing importance of S corpor...

Published: Understanding U.S. Corporate Tax Losses, Rosanne Altshuler, Alan J. Auerbach, Michael Cooper, Matthew Knittel. in Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 23, Brown and Poterba. 2009

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us