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Do Tax Havens Flourish?

In: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19

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  • James R. Hines Jr.

Abstract

Tax haven countries offer foreign investors low tax rates and other tax features designed to attract investment and thereby stimulate economic activity. Major tax havens have less than one percent of the world's population (outside the United States), and 2.3 percent of world GDP, but host 5.7 percent of the foreign employment and 8.4 percent of foreign property, plant and equipment of American firms. Per capita real GDP in tax haven countries grew at an average annual rate of 3.3 percent between 1982 and 1999, which compares favorably to the world average of 1.4 percent. Tax haven governments appear to be adequately funded, with an average 25 percent ratio of government to GDP that exceeds the 20 percent ratio for the world as a whole, though the small populations and relative affluence of these countries would normally be associated with even larger governments. Whether the economic prosperity of tax haven countries comes at the expense of higher tax countries is unclear, though recent research suggests that tax haven activity stimulates investment in nearby high-tax countries.

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This chapter was published in:

  • James Poterba, 2005. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote05-1, May.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0165.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0165

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    Cited by:
    1. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Foreign Direct Investment and Domestic Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 11717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Slemrod, Joel & Wilson, John D., 2009. "Tax competition with parasitic tax havens," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1261-1270, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Schwarz, Peter, 2011. "Money launderers and tax havens: Two sides of the same coin?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 37-47, March.
    5. Butkiewicz, James L. & Gordon, Leo-Rey C., 2013. "The Economic Growth Effect of Offshore Banking in Host Territories: Evidence from the Caribbean," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 165-179.
    6. James Alm & Mir Ahmad Khan, 2008. "Assessing Enterprise Taxation and the Investment Climate in Pakistan," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0810, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    7. Robert E. Lipsey, 2007. "Defining and Measuring the Location of FDI Output," NBER Working Papers 12996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hanlon, Michelle & Heitzman, Shane, 2010. "A review of tax research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 127-178, December.
    9. Norman Gemmel & Richard Kneller & Danny McGowan & Ismael Sanz, 2013. "Corporate Taxation and Productivity Catch-Up: Evidence from European Firms," Working Papers 13001, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
    10. Robert E. Lipsey, 2006. "Measuring International Trade in Services," NBER Working Papers 12271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Dharmapala, Dhammika & Hines Jr., James R., 2009. "Which countries become tax havens?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1058-1068, October.
    12. Chu, Hsun & Lai, Ching-Chong & Cheng, Chu-Chuan, 2013. "Tax Havens, Growth, and Welfare," MPRA Paper 52878, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Sep 2013.
    13. Michael Brei, 2013. "Offshore financial centers in the Caribbean: An overview," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-40, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
    14. Robert E. Lipsey, 2008. "Measuring the Location of Production in a World of Intangible Productive Assets, FDI, and Intrafirm Trade," NBER Working Papers 14121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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