Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

How low business tax rates attract MNE activity: Municipality-level evidence from Germany

Contents:

Author Info

  • Becker, Sascha O.
  • Egger, Peter H.
  • Merlo, Valeria

Abstract

Most existing empirical evidences on the impact of profit taxation on multinational firm activity are based on cross-country data. One major drawback of such data is that countries differ not only with regard to taxes but also with other dimensions which might be hard to capture by means of observable characteristics. We compile a database of more than 11,000 municipalities in Germany to analyze the sensitivity of location decisions of foreign MNEs in Germany with respect to business tax rates which are levied directly by the municipalities. We find that higher business tax rates have a negative effect on three alternative measures of MNE activity, after controlling for other determinants of firm location decisions: the number of foreign MNEs, MNE employment, and MNE fixed assets. Our results suggest that tax competition among regional entities for foreign investors is a game of a few. In cross-section instrumental-variable regressions, a one-percent reduction of the municipal business tax rate (equivalent to a decline by about 0.14 percentage points) leads to an increase in the number of legally independent foreign-owned firms by about 0.45. The average municipality would have to reduce its business tax rate by about 2.2 percentage points (or 15%) from its average level to attract one foreign MNE. Hence, municipalities need to be attractive in other dimensions to be able to use tax instruments to attract foreign firms at the margin.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004727271200045X
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2012)
Issue (Month): 9-10 ()
Pages: 698-711

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:9:p:698-711

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Multinational firms; Profit taxation; Regional public finance; Count data;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Semykina, Anastasia & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2010. "Estimating panel data models in the presence of endogeneity and selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(2), pages 375-380, August.
  2. List, John A., 2001. "US county-level determinants of inbound FDI: evidence from a two-step modified count data model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 953-973, May.
  3. Haufler, Andreas & Wooton, Ian, 1999. "Country size and tax competition for foreign direct investment," Munich Reprints in Economics 20408, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin Hassett, 1991. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: A Reconsideration of the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ruud A. de Mooij & Sjef Ederveen, 2008. "Corporate tax elasticities: a reader's guide to empirical findings," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 680-697, winter.
  6. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1998. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 6773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Leslie E. Papke, 1989. "Interstate Business Tax Differentials and New Firm Location: Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 3184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kelejian, Harry H & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1999. "A Generalized Moments Estimator for the Autoregressive Parameter in a Spatial Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(2), pages 509-33, May.
  9. Devereux, Michael P & Hubbard, R Glenn, 2003. "Taxing Multinationals," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 469-87, August.
  10. Joel Slemrod, 1989. "Tax Effects on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: Evidence from a Cross-Country Comparison," NBER Working Papers 3042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ronald B. Davies, 2000. "State Tax Competition for Foreign Direct Investment: A Winnable War?," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2000-4, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Jul 2002.
  12. Borck, Rainald & Pfluger, Michael, 2006. "Agglomeration and tax competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 647-668, April.
  13. Marius Brülhart & Mario Jametti & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2012. "Do agglomeration economies reduce the sensitivity of firm location to tax differentials?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 1069-1093, 09.
  14. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  15. Huizinga, H. & Nielsen, S.B., 1995. "Capital Income and Profits Taxation with Foreign Ownership of Firms," Papers 9582, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  16. Markusen, James R & Maskus, Keith E, 2002. "Discriminating among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 694-707, November.
  17. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith, 1996. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," IFS Working Papers W96/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  18. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Keith Head, 2003. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 980-994, June.
  19. James R. Hines Jr., 1993. "Altered States: Taxes and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in America," NBER Working Papers 4397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Huizinga, Harry & Nicodeme, Gaetan, 2003. "Foreign Ownership and Corporate Income Taxation: An Empirical Evaluation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3952, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Richard E. Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 2002. "Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 9290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Raff, Horst, 2004. "Preferential trade agreements and tax competition for foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2745-2763, December.
  23. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, December.
  24. Ronald B. Davies, 2003. "The OECD Model Tax Treaty: Tax Competition And Two-Way Capital Flows," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 725-753, 05.
  25. Egger, Peter & Fahn, Matthias & Merlo, Valeria & Wamser, Georg, 2011. "On the Genesis of Multinational Foreign Affiliate Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 8536, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Sam Bucovetsky & Andreas Haufler, 2005. "Tax Competition when Firms Choose their Organizational Form: Should Tax Loopholes for Multinationals be Closed?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1625, CESifo Group Munich.
  27. Head, Charles Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2002. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3455, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Peter Egger & Simon Loretz & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2008. "Bilateral Effective Tax Rates and Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers 0802, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  29. Michael Overesch & Georg Wamser, 2008. "Who Cares about Corporate Taxation? Asymmetric Tax Effects on Outbound FDI," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 59, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  30. Ludema, Rodney D. & Wooton, Ian, 2000. "Economic geography and the fiscal effects of regional integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 331-357, December.
  31. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1995. "Selection corrections for panel data models under conditional mean independence assumptions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 115-132, July.
  32. Ruud de Mooij & S. Ederveen, 2001. "Taxation and foreign direct investment; a synthesis of empirical research," CPB Discussion Paper 3, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  33. Wilson, John Douglas, 1987. "Trade, Capital Mobility, and Tax Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 835-56, August.
  34. Ruud A. de Mooij & Sjef Ederveen, 2006. "What a difference does it make? Understanding the empirical literature on taxation and international capital flows," European Economy - Economic Papers 261, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  35. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies, 2000. "The Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on U.S. FDI Activity," NBER Working Papers 7929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Janeba,Eckhard, 1991. "Corporate income tax competition,Double taxation treaties, and foreign direct investment," Discussion Paper Serie A 361, University of Bonn, Germany.
  37. Mutti, John & Grubert, Harry, 2004. "Empirical asymmetries in foreign direct investment and taxation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 337-358, March.
  38. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Keller, Sara & Schanz, Deborah, 2013. "Tax attractiveness and the location of German-controlled subsidiaries," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 142, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  2. Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2013. "Tax and the city: A theory of local tax competition and evidence for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-005 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Egger, Peter & Fahn, Matthias & Merlo, Valeria & Wamser, Georg, 2011. "On the Genesis of Multinational Foreign Affiliate Networks," CEPR Discussion Papers 8536, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2013. "Tax and the city — A theory of local tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 89-100.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:9:p:698-711. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.