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Tax Competition and Foreign Direct Investment: assessing the role of market potential and trade costs in a "Footloose Capital" framework

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  • Vincent Delbecque

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of the corporate income tax on the geographical distribution of French firms Foreign Direct Investment port- folio across 26 European countries. The empirical assessment is based on Baldwin (1999) new economic geography model in which we focus on the location of firms with respect to level of taxation. In this model, the magnitude of the impact of taxation on location decision partly depends on the market size and the level of trade costs. Indeed, firms may not only seek lower production costs but better market access and market opportunity when investing abroad. Through panel data regressions, we find a negative impact of the corporate income tax rate on Foreign Direct Investment. We also find that trade costs between source and host coun- try increases Foreign Direct Investment. In advanced specifications we show that increasing trade costs reduce the impact of tax level on capital location.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX in its series EconomiX Working Papers with number 2008-18.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2008-18

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Keywords: Corporate taxation; Firm-level data; Foreign Direct Investment; Trade Costs;

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References

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  1. Baldwin, Richard E. & Krugman, Paul, 2004. "Agglomeration, integration and tax harmonisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, February.
  2. Krugman, Paul R & Venables, Anthony J, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-80, November.
  3. Rodney D. Ludema & Ian Wooton, 1998. "Economic Geography and the Fiscal Effects of Regional Integration," Working Papers 9809, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  4. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik & Mariana Spatareanu, 2005. "Do Foreign Investors Care about Labor Market Regulations?," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2005-005, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  5. Venables, Anthony J., 1993. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 802, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  7. Forslid, Rikard & Andersson, Fredrik, 1999. "Tax Competition and Economic Geography," Research Papers in Economics 2000:5, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  8. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Discriminating Among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 7164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond J. Mataloni & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2001. "Expansion Strategies of U.S. Multinational Firms," BEA Papers 0012, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  10. Head, C. Keith & Ries, John C. & Swenson, Deborah L., 1999. "Attracting foreign manufacturing: Investment promotion and agglomeration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 197-218, March.
  11. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  12. Richard E. Baldwin, 1998. "Agglomeration and Endogenous Capital," NBER Working Papers 6459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 1998. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 335-367, June.
  14. Head, Charles Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2002. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3455, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 2003. "The Impact of Corporate Taxation on the Location of Capital: A Review," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 33(2), pages 275-292, September.
  16. Markusen, James R. & Morey, Edward R. & Olewiler, Nancy, 1995. "Competition in regional environmental policies when plant locations are endogenous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-77, January.
  17. repec:fth:iniesr:430 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Buettner, Thiess & Ruf, Martin, 2005. "Tax incentives and the location of FDI: evidence from a panel of German multinationals," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,17, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  19. Clark, Kim B, 1984. "Unionization and Firm Performance: The Impact on Profits, Growth, and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 893-919, December.
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