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Tax Rate and Tax Base Competition for Foreign Direct Investment

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  • Peter Egger
  • Horst Raff

Abstract

This paper argues that the large reduction in corporate tax rates and only gradual widening of tax bases in many countries over the last decades are consistent with tougher international competition for foreign direct investment (FDI). To make this point we develop a model in which governments compete for FDI using corporate tax rates and tax bases. The model’s predictions regarding the slope of policy reaction functions and the response of equilibrium tax parameters to trade costs and market size are shown to be consistent with panel data for 43 developed countries and emerging markets. Using estimated policy reaction functions we simulate the effect of regional trade integration and find that this integration has contributed significantly to the observed fall in corporate tax rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3596.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3596

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Keywords: corporate taxes; tax competition; foreign direct investment; multinational firms; free-trade areas; regional integration;

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References

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  1. Doyle, Christopher & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1984. "Taxation of Foreign Multinationals: A Sequential Bargaining Approach to Tax Holidays," CEPR Discussion Papers 25, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  3. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
  4. Fuest, Clemens & Hemmelgarn, Thomas, 2005. "Corporate tax policy, foreign firm ownership and thin capitalization," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 508-526, September.
  5. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2011. "Optimal tax policy when firms are internationally mobile," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 580-604, October.
  6. Bauer, Christian & Davies, Ronald B. & Haufler, Andreas, 2014. "Economic integration and the optimal corporate tax structure with heterogeneous firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 42-56.
  7. Peter Egger & Simon Loretz & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2006. "Corporate Taxation and Multinational Activity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1773, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  9. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1984. "Introduction to "The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany"," NBER Chapters, in: The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Andreas Haufler & Ian Wooton, . "Country Size and Tax Competition for Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow 9702, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  13. Fuest, Clemens, 2005. "Economic integration and tax policy with endogenous foreign firm ownership," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1823-1840, September.
  14. Keen, Michael, 2001. "Preferential Regimes Can Make Tax Competition Less Harmful," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 4), pages 757-62, December.
  15. Ronald B. Davies & Christopher J. Ellis, 2001. "Competition in Taxes and Performance Requirements for Foreign Direct Investment," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers, University of Oregon Economics Department 2001-4, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Jun 2001.
  16. Haufler, Andreas & Wooton, Ian, 1997. "Tax Competition for Foreign Direct Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1583, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Barros, Pedro P & Cabral, Luis, 2000. "Competing for Foreign Direct Investment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 360-71, May.
  18. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Eckel, Carsten, 2006. "Policy competition for foreign direct investment between asymmetric countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1891-1907, October.
  19. Hagen, K.P. & Osmundsen, P. & Schjelderup, G., 1995. "Internationally Mobile Firms and Tax Policy," Papers, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration- 8/95, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  20. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  21. Roger H. Gordon & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "International Taxation," NBER Working Papers 8854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Harald Badinger & Peter Egger, 2008. "GM Estimation of Higher-Order Spatial Autoregressive Processes in Cross-Section Models with Heteroskedastic Disturbances," CESifo Working Paper Series 2356, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bauer, Christian & Davies, Ronald B. & Haufler, Andreas, 2011. "Economic integration and the optimal corporate tax structure with heterogeneous firms," Discussion Papers in Economics 12310, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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