Companies and tax competition in the digital economy

In Switzerland, the digital transformation is changing businesses. The project sets up a data platform that will make it possible to measure these changes.

  • Project description

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    Digitisation is rapidly transforming local economies. Businesses are becoming increasingly mobile and integrated into complex networks. Formerly competitive markets are becoming more concentrated, thus threatening the growth prospects of peripheral regions. In this context, tax competition can be harmful.

    The purpose of this project is twofold: firstly, we will build an open and scalable data platform that makes it possible to follow companies in time and space, from their foundation to their removal from the commercial register, and to obtain information regarding their legal and network structure. Secondly, we will study the effects of tax competition on the location choices of businesses, as well as on their organizational and network structure. We will pay special attention to the new sectors of the digital economy.

  • Background

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    We know very little about companies in Switzerland, especially about their organisational and network structure and their spatial and temporal development. At the present time, the Swiss Commercial Register data is scattered across the various cantonal registers with varying degrees of detail. Although a central register is available, it only offers a snapshot of companies that are currently in business or have been removed from the register, and does not provide longitudinal information.

  • Aim

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    The aim of this project is to build a sustainable data platform about companies in Switzerland. One of the main goals of the project is to share the platform with other researchers, with policy makers and the general public so that all can identify new trends related to the digital economy and find valuable information on the spatial and temporal structure of companies. The data platform will be set up so as to enable real-time data aggregation and analysis.

  • Relevance

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    Scientists and policy makers will be able to query the data platform to answer various important questions. For example, which new sectors are connected to the digital economy? How are companies networked? How is this network evolving over time? The aim is also to determine whether tax competition is positive or harmful. It is essential to answer this question so that the corporate tax system can be reformed, and fair competition and innovation capacity guaranteed for all regions.

  • Original title

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    Firms and tax competition in the digital economy: a data platform for geo-temporal network analysis