Changes in marginal tax rates over the past three decades in the United States

Xikai Chen, Meiting Lu, Yaowen Shan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates changes in corporate marginal tax rates (MTRs) in the United States over the past three decades. Similar to effective tax rate, MTR exhibits a significant but much more modest decline over time, even after accounting for tax-related firm characteristics and industry variations. In contrast to Dyreng et al., we find that MTR declines more rapidly for purely domestic firms than for multinationals. Our findings highlight the puzzling evidence in Dyreng et al. and call for future research to study possible drivers that explain the sustained and differential decline in corporate tax rate over time between domestic and multinational firms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2601-2624
Number of pages24
JournalAccounting and Finance
Issue numberS1
Early online date11 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Marginal tax rate
  • Tax rate change


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