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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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  1. Chisik, Richard & Ronald B. Davies, 2002. "Asymmetric FDI and Tax-Treaty Bargaining: Theory and Evidence," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 48, Royal Economic Society.
  2. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 693-708, June.
  3. Ronald B Davies & Pehr-Johan Norbäck & Ayça Tekin-Koru, 2007. "The Effect of Tax Treaties on Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Microdata," Working Papers 0721, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
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  6. James R. Hines, Jr., 1998. ""Tax Sparing" and Direct Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 6728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. di Giovanni, Julian, 2002. "What Drives Capital Flows? The Case of Cross-Border M&A Activity and Financial Deepening," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7nq6d7wp, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Jack Mintz, 2008. "What determines the use of holding companies and ownership chains?," Working Papers 0803, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  9. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2006. "The impact of endogenous tax treaties on foreign direct investment: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 901-931, August.
  10. Ronald B. Davies, 2004. "Tax Treaties and Foreign Direct Investment: Potential versus Performance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(6), pages 775-802, November.
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  12. Francis Weyzig, 2013. "Tax treaty shopping: structural determinants of Foreign Direct Investment routed through the Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(6), pages 910-937, December.
  13. Eric Neumayer, 2007. "Do double taxation treaties increase foreign direct investment to developing countries?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(8), pages 1501-1519.
  14. Luca De Benedictis & Lucia Tajoli, 2009. "The World Trade Network," Working Papers 51-2009, Macerata University, Department of Finance and Economic Sciences, revised Mar 2009.
  15. 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.
  16. Bruce A. Blonigen & Lindsay Oldenski & Nicholas Sly, 2011. "Separating the Opposing Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties," NBER Working Papers 17480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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