Do countries compensate firms for international wage differentials?
AbstractWe address the role of labor cost differentials for national tax policies. Using a simple theoretical framework with two countries competing for a mobile firm, we show that in a bidding race for FDI, it is optimal for governments to compensate firms for international labor cost differentials. Using panel data for western Europe, we then put the model prediction to an empirical test. Exploiting exogenous variation in labor cost differentials induced by the breakdown of communism in eastern Europe, we find strong support for the model prediction that countries with relatively high labor costs tend to set lower tax rates in order to attract mobile capital. Our key result is that an increase in the unit labor cost differential by one standard deviation decreases the statutory tax rate by 7.3 to 7.5 percentage points.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2010/54.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Foreign direct investment; corporate taxation; labor costs;
Other versions of this item:
- Ferdinand Mittermaier & Johannes Rincke, 2010. "Do Countries Compensate Firms for International Wage Differentials?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3197, CESifo Group Munich.
- H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
- H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
- F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
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- Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Nicolas Gobalraja & Alain Trannoy, 2007. "Tax and public input competition," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 22, pages 385-430, 04.
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