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Taxes and the Form of Ownership of Foreign Corporate Equity

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  • Roger H. Gordon
  • Joosung Jun

Abstract

Investors can achieve international diversification in their portfolios not only through purchasing foreign equity directly but also through investing in domestic firms which then invest abroad. Yet these alternative approaches are taxed very differently. A number of countries have also imposed various forms of capital controls restricting direct purchases of foreign equity. This paper estimates the degree to which these tax and nontax factors have affected the relative use of these two alternative methods of international diversification, using data on investment in the U.S. by investors from each of ten other countries during the period 1980-1989. While the composition of equity flows differs dramatically across countries, taxes do not appear to play an important role in the data in explaining this variation. Part of the explanation appears to be that tax distortions adjust endogenously to avoid large scale portfolio investments abroad. With the increasing integration of capital markets and the easing of capital controls in many countries, we have seen and expect to continue to see reductions in the tax distortions affecting the form of international capital flows.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4159.

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Date of creation: Sep 1992
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Publication status: published as Studies in International Taxationedited by Alberto Goivannini, R. Glenn Hubbard, and Joel Slemrod University of Chicago Press; May 1993
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4159

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  1. Sudipto Bhattacharya, 1979. "Imperfect Information, Dividend Policy, and "The Bird in the Hand" Fallacy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 259-270, Spring.
  2. Hines Jr., J.R., 1991. "Dividends And Profits: Some Unsubtle Foreign Influences," Papers 77, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - John M. Olin Program.
  3. Joel B. Slemrod, 1990. "Tax Effects on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: Evidence from a Cross-Country Comparison," NBER Chapters, in: Taxation in the Global Economy, pages 79-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James R. Hines, Jr. & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1990. "Coming Home to America: Dividend Repatriations by U.S. Multinationals," NBER Working Papers 2931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Martin Feldstein, 1978. "Inflation and the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 0276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Randall Morck, 2006. "Corporations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2101, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1988. "Do We Collect Any Revenue from Taxing Capital Income?," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 2, pages 89-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-59, September.
  9. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "The Economic Effects of Dividend Taxation," NBER Working Papers 1353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Swenson, Deborah L., 1994. "The impact of U.S. tax reform on foreign direct investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 243-266, June.
  12. Assaf Razin & Joel Slemrod, 1990. "Taxation in the Global Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number razi90-1.
  13. Gordon, Roger H, 1986. "Taxation of Investment and Savings in a World Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1086-1102, December.
  14. Harry Grubert & Timothy Goodspeed & Deborah L. Swenson, 1993. "Explaining the Low Taxable Income of Foreign-Controlled Companies in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 237-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Roger H. Gordon & A. Lans Bovenberg, 1994. "Why is Capital so Immobile Internationally?: Possible Explanations and Implications for Capital Income Taxation," NBER Working Papers 4796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joel Slemrod, 1995. "Free trade taxation and protectionist taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 471-489, October.
  3. Niemann, Rainer, 2004. "Entscheidungswirkungen von Verlustverrechnungsbeschränkungen bei der Steuerplanung grenzüberschreitender Investitionen," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 276, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
  4. James R. Hines, Jr., 1996. "Tax Policy and the Activities of Multinational Corporations," NBER Working Papers 5589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mihir A. Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala, 2008. "Taxes, Institutions and Foreign Diversification Opportunities," Working Papers 0828, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  6. Roger H. Gordon & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "International Taxation," NBER Working Papers 8854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Razin, Assaf & Yuen, Chi-Wa, 1993. "Convergence in Growth Rates: The Role of Capital Mobility and International Taxation," CEPR Discussion Papers 760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Assaf Razin & Chi-Wa Yuen, 1999. "Optimal International Taxation and Growth Rate Convergence: Tax Competition vs. Coordination," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 61-78, February.
  9. Rainer Niemann & Corinna Treisch, 2005. "Group Taxation, Asymmetric Taxation and Cross-Border Investment Incentives in Austria," CESifo Working Paper Series 1506, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Niemann, Rainer & Treisch, Corinna, 2005. "Grenzüberschreitende Investitionen nach der Steuerreform 2005: stärkt die Gruppenbesteuerung den Holdingstandort Österreich?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 1, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  11. Gordon, Roger H. & Li, Wei, 2003. "Government as a discriminating monopolist in the financial market: the case of China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 283-312, February.
  12. Rainer Niemann, 2004. "Asymmetric Taxation and Cross-Border Investment Decisions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1219, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Devereux, Michael P. & Pearson, Mark, 1995. "European tax harmonisation and production efficiency," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1657-1681, December.
  14. Mihir A. Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala, 2007. "Taxes and Portfolio Choice: Evidence from JGTRRA's Treatment of International Dividends," NBER Working Papers 13281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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