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Why Is Capital So Immobile Internationally? Possible Explanations and Implications for Capital Income Taxation

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  • Gordon, Roger H
  • Bovenberg, A Lans

Abstract

The evidence on international capital immobility is extensive, including the lack of international portfolio diversification, real interest differentials across countries, and the high correlation between domestic savings and investment. The authors develop a model with asymmetric information between countries that helps rationalize all the above observations and then examine the implications of this model for optimal domestic tax policy. Without asymmetric information, past work showed that small open economies should not impose corporate income taxes. With asymmetric information, the optimal policy instead involves government subsidies to capital imports. Some omitted factors that argue against subsidizing capital imports are explored briefly. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 86 (1996)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1057-75

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:86:y:1996:i:5:p:1057-75

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  1. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 1989. "International Tax Competition and Gains from Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 3152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mishkin, Frederic S, 1984. " Are Real Interest Rates Equal across Countries? An Empirical Investigation of International Parity Conditions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(5), pages 1345-57, December.
  3. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  4. Roger H Gordon & Joosung Jun, 1993. "Taxes and the Form of Ownership of Foreign Corporate Equity," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0029, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
  5. Robert E. Cumby & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1987. "The International Linkage of Real Interest Rates: The European - U.S. Connection," NBER Working Papers 1423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-26, May.
  7. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Capital mobility in the world economy: Theory and measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 55-103, January.
  8. Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Tax Policy and International Competitiveness," NBER Chapters, in: International Aspects of Fiscal Policies, pages 349-386 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Tamim Bayoumi, 1990. "Saving-Investment Correlations: Immobile Capital, Government Policy, or Endogenous Behavior?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 360-387, June.
  10. Linda L. Tesar & Ingrid M. Werner, 1994. "International Equity Transactions and U.S. Portfolio Choice," NBER Chapters, in: The Internationalization of Equity Markets, pages 185-227 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Tesar, L.L., 1988. "Savings, Investment And International Capital Flows," Papers 64, Brookings Institution - Working Papers.
  12. Harris, Robert S & Ravenscraft, David, 1991. " The Role of Acquisitions in Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from the U.S. Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 825-44, July.
  13. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  14. Robert E. Cumby & Maurice Obstfeld, 1982. "International Interest-Rate and Price-Level Linkages Under Flexible Exchange Rates: A Review of Recent Evidence," NBER Working Papers 0921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Roger H. Gordon & Hal R. Varian, 1986. "Taxation of Asset Income in the Presence of a World Securites Market," NBER Working Papers 1994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Finn, Mary G., 1990. "On savings and investment dynamics in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 1-21, August.
  17. Adler, Michael & Dumas, Bernard, 1983. " International Portfolio Choice and Corporation Finance: A Synthesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 925-84, June.
  18. Goodspeed, T-J & White, A-D, 1996. "International taxation," Papers 96-11, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
  19. Michael Dooley & Jeffrey Frankel & Donald J. Mathieson, 1987. "International Capital Mobility: What Do Saving-Investment Correlations Tell Us?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 503-530, September.
  20. Murphy, Robert G., 1984. "Capital mobility and the relationship between saving and investment rates in OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 327-342, December.
  21. Gerard Caprio & David H. Howard, 1983. "Domestic saving, current accounts, and international capital mobility," International Finance Discussion Papers 244, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  22. Alberto Giovannini & R. Glenn Hubbard & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "Studies in International Taxation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number giov93-1, octubre-d.
  23. Harry Grubert & Timothy Goodspeed & Deborah L. Swenson, 1993. "Explaining the Low Taxable Income of Foreign-Controlled Companies in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 237-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  25. Gordon, Roger H, 1986. "Taxation of Investment and Savings in a World Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1086-1102, December.
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