Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The missing wealth of nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net debtors or net creditors?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Gabriel Zucman

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

Abstract

This paper shows that official statistics substantially underestimate the net foreign asset positions of rich countries because they fail to capture most of the assets held by households in offshore tax havens. Drawing on systematic anomalies in portfolio investment positions and a unique Swiss dataset, I find that 8% of the global financial wealth of households is held in tax havens, 6% of which goes unrecorded. On the basis of plausible assumptions, accounting for unrecorded assets turns the eurozone, officially the world's second largest net debtor, into a net creditor. It also reduces the U.S. net debt significantly. The results shed new light on global imbalances and challenge the widespread view that, after a decade of poor-to-rich capital flows, external assets are now in poor countries and debts in rich countries. I provide concrete proposals to improve international investment statistics.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/74/86/46/PDF/wp201107.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE Working Papers with number halshs-00565224.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00565224

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00565224
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

Related research

Keywords: Tax havens ; International investment positions ; Global imbalances;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Natalia T. Tamirisa & Francesco Strobbe, 2010. "Bilateral Financial Linkages and Global Imbalances," IMF Working Papers 10/257, International Monetary Fund.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Benjamin Bridgman, 2009. "Do Intangible Assets Explain High U.S. Foreign Direct Investment Returns?," 2009 Meeting Papers 373, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Valeria Pellegrini & Enrico Tosti, 2012. "In search of lost capital: an estimation of undeclared portfolio assets," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 131, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Johannesen, Niels, 2014. "Tax evasion and Swiss bank deposits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 46-62.
  4. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Rey, Hélène, 2013. "External Adjustment, Global Imbalances and Valuation Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 9566, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Heshmati, Almas & Kim, Jungsuk, 2014. "A Survey of the Role of Fiscal Policy in Addressing Income Inequality, Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 8119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Niels Johannesen & David Dreyer Lassen & Elena Paltseva, 2013. "Petro Rents, Political Institutions, and Hidden Wealth: Evidence from Bank Deposits in Tax Havens," EPRU Working Paper Series 2013-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  7. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2013. "Who Pays The Corporate Tax In A Global Economy?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 66(1), pages 151-84, March.
  8. Kohler, Pierre, 2014. "Asset-Centred Redistributive Policies for Sustainable Development," MPRA Paper 55357, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Philip R. Lane, 2011. "The Dynamics of Ireland?s Net External Position," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp388, IIIS.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00565224. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.