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A Journey from a Corruption Port to a Tax Haven

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  • Shafik Hebous
  • Vilen Lipatov

Abstract

We sketch a model according to which tax havens attract corporate income generated in corrupted countries. In our framework, tax havens have two opposite effects on welfare. First, tax havens’ services have a positive effect on welfare through encouraging investment by firms fearing expropriation and bribes in corrupt countries. Second, by supporting corruption and the concealment of officials’ bribes, tax havens discourage the provision of public goods and hence have also a negative effect on welfare. The net welfare effect depends on the specified preferences and parameters. One source of this ambiguity is that the presence of multinational firms in corrupted countries is positively associated with demanding tax havens’ operations. Using firm-level data, we provide empirical support for this hypothesis.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-10/cesifo1_wp3620.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3620.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3620

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Keywords: tax havens; tax avoidance; tax evasion; multinational firms; corruption;

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References

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  1. Sebastian Krautheim & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2009. "Heterogeneous Firms, 'Profit Shifting' FDI and International Tax Competition," Economics Working Papers ECO2009/15, European University Institute.
  2. Konrad, Kai A. & Erik Lommerud, Kjell, 2001. "Foreign direct investment, intra-firm trade and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 475-494, March.
  3. Joel Slemrod & John D. Wilson, 2006. "Tax Competition With Parasitic Tax Havens," NBER Working Papers 12225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fisman, Raymond & Svensson, Jakob, 2007. "Are corruption and taxation really harmful to growth? Firm level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 63-75, May.
  5. Kesternich, Iris & Schnitzer, Monika, 2007. "Who is Afraid of Political Risk? Multinational Firms and their Choice of Capital Structure," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 213, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  6. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "The demand for tax haven operations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 513-531, February.
  7. Mintz, Jack M. & Weichenrieder, Alfons J., 2010. "The Indirect Side of Direct Investment: Multinational Company Finance and Taxation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262014491, December.
  8. Qing Hong & Michael Smart, 2007. "In Praise of Tax Havens: International Tax Planning and Foreign Direct Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1942, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Dhammika Dharmapala, 2008. "What Problems and Opportunities are Created by Tax Havens?," Working Papers 0820, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  10. Dhammika Dharmapala & James R. Hines Jr., 2006. "Which Countries Become Tax Havens?," NBER Working Papers 12802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Anna Gumpert & James R. Hines, Jr. & Monika Schnitzer, 2011. "The Use of Tax Havens in Exemption Regimes," NBER Working Papers 17644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2010. "Tax enforcement and tax havens under formula apportionment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 217-235, June.
  13. Andrew K. Rose & Mark Spiegel, 2006. "Offshore Financial Centers: Parasites or Symbionts?," NBER Working Papers 12044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-92, September.
  15. Shafik Hebous, 2011. "Money at the Docks of Tax Havens: A Guide," CESifo Working Paper Series 3587, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Johannesen, Niels, 2010. "Imperfect tax competition for profits, asymmetric equilibrium and beneficial tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 253-264, July.
  17. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  18. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  19. Clemens Fuest & Nadine Riedel, 2010. "Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance in Developing Countries: The Role of International Profit Shifting," Working Papers 1012, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  20. Slemrod, Joel, 2010. "Location, (Real) Location, (Tax) Location: An Essay On Mobility’S Place In Optimal Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 63(4), pages 843-64, December.
  21. James R. Hines, 2010. "Treasure Islands," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 103-26, Fall.
  22. Johannesen, Niels, 2012. "Optimal fiscal barriers to international economic integration in the presence of tax havens," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 400-416.
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Cited by:
  1. Shafik Hebous, 2011. "Money at the Docks of Tax Havens: A Guide," CESifo Working Paper Series 3587, CESifo Group Munich.

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