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The Foreign Investment Effects of Tax Treaties

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  • Arjan Lejour

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Abstract

We examine the impact of bilateral and multilateral tax treaties on bilateral FDI stocks. First, we present panel regressions of the effects of treaties on FDI based on an extensive database of all OECD countries from 1985 onwards. We use geographic instruments to correct for the endogeneity of tax treaties. In contrast to many papers, we find that these treaties increase bilateral FDI significantly. The increase is about 16 percent and for new treaties this is even 21 percent. Moreover, the EU parent subsidiary directive doubles bilateral FDI stocks. Second, we analyse the effects of treaty shopping on FDI using the number of tax treaties as a proxy for the attractiveness of a country for establishing a holding. This indicator has a significant impact on FDI: twenty extra tax treaties increase bilateral FDI stocks by about 50 percent. Lower withholding tax rates of dividends do also attract FDI.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 265.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:265

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