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Tax Policy and the Activities of Multinational Corporations

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  • James R. Hines, Jr.

Abstract

This paper reviews quantitative studies of the impact of international tax rules on the financial and real behavior of multinational firms. The evidence, much of it recent, indicates that taxation significantly influences foreign direct investment, corporate borrowing, transfer pricing, dividend and royalty payments, R&D activity, exports, bribe payments, and location choices. While taxes appear to influence a wide range of activity, the literature does not offer many subtle tests designed to distinguish different theories of the effects of taxation on multinational firms. The paper evaluates the reliability of existing evidence and its implications for the design of international tax policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5589.

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Date of creation: May 1996
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Publication status: published as in Alan J. Auerbach, ed. Fiscal Policy: Lessons From Economic Research(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997), pp.401-445.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5589

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  2. Gordon, R.H. & Mackie-Mason, J.K., 1993. "Why is There Corporate Taxation in a Small Open Econom? The Role of Transfer Pricing and Income Shifting," Memorandum 18/1993, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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  6. Kenneth A. Froot & James R. Hines, Jr., 1995. "Interest Allocation Rules, Financing Patterns, and the Operations of U.S. Multinationals," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 277-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Daniel J. Frisch & David G. Hartman, 1983. "Taxation and the Location of U.S. Investment Abroad," NBER Working Papers 1241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Martin S. Feldstein, 1995. "The Effects of Outbound Foreign Direct Investment on the Domestic Capital Stock," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 43-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew B. Lyon & Gerald Silverstein, 1995. "The Alternative Minimum Tax and the Behavior of Multinational Corporations," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 153-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hines, J.R., 1990. "The Flight Paths Of Migratory Corporations," Papers 65, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  11. Jason Cummins & Trevor Harris & Kevin Hassett, 1995. "Accounting Standards, Information Flow, and Firm Investment Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 181-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Bartik, Timothy J, 1985. "Business Location Decisions in the United States: Estimates of the Effects of Unionization, Taxes, and Other Characteristics of States," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(1), pages 14-22, January.
  14. Hines, James R, Jr, 1996. " Dividends and Profits: Some Unsubtle Foreign Influences," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(2), pages 661-89, June.
  15. Guy V.G. Stevens & Robert E. Lipsey, 1988. "Interactions between domestic and foreign investment," International Finance Discussion Papers 329, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. James R. Hines, Jr., 1994. "No Place Like Home: Tax Incentives and the Location of R&D by American Multinationals," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 8, pages 65-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Michael J. Boskin & William G. Gale, 1987. "New Results on the Effects of Tax Policy on the International Location of Investment," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 201-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Rosanne Altshuler & T. Scott Newlon & William Randolph, 1996. "Do Repatriation Taxes Matter? Evidence from the Tax Returns of U.S. Multinationals," Departmental Working Papers 199405, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  19. 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.
  20. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
  21. Marsha Blumenthal & Joel Slemrod, 1995. "The compliance cost of taxing foreign-source income: Its magnitude, determinants, and policy implications," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 37-53, February.
  22. Robert E. Lipsey, 1995. "Outward Direct Investment and the U.S. Economy," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 7-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Bond, Eric W, 1981. "Tax Holidays and Industry Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 88-95, February.
  24. G. Peter Wilson & R. Glenn Hubbard & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "The Role of Taxes in Location and Sourcing Decisions," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 195-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Michael Devereux & Harold Freeman, 1995. "The impact of tax on foreign direct investment: Empirical evidence and the implications for tax integration schemes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 85-106, February.
  26. 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.
  27. Kopits, George F, 1976. "Intra-firm Royalties Crossing Frontiers and Transfer-Pricing Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(344), pages 791-805, December.
  28. Altshuler, R. & Newlon, T.S., 1991. "The Effects of US Tax Policy on the Income Repatriation Patterns of US Multinational Corporations," Discussion Papers 1991_60, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  29. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin Hassett & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: A Reconsideration of the Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 119-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Martin Feldstein & James R. Hines Jr. & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1995. "The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld95-2.
  31. Hines, James Jr., 1994. "Credit and deferral as international investment incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 323-347, October.
  32. Rosanne Altshuler & Jack Mintz, 1994. "U.S. Interest Allocation Rules: Effects and Policy," NBER Working Papers 4712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Lall, Sanjaya, 1973. "Transfer-Pricing by Multinational Manufacturing Firms," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 35(3), pages 173-95, August.
  34. Jenkins, Glenn P & Wright, Brian D, 1975. "Taxation of Income of Multinational Corporations: The Case of the United States Petroleum Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(1), pages 1-11, February.
  35. David G. Hartman, 1981. "Domestic Tax Policy and Foreign Investment: Some Evidence," NBER Working Papers 0784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Hines, J.R. & Rice, E.M., 1990. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens And American Business," Papers 56, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  37. Young, Kan H., 1988. "The Effects of Taxes and Rates of Return on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 109-21, March.
  38. James R. Hines, Jr., 1994. "Taxes, Technology Transfer, and the R&D Activities of Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 4932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Julie Collins & Douglas Shackelford, 1995. "Corporate domicile and average effective tax rates: The cases of Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 55-83, February.
  40. 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.
  41. James R. Hines, Jr., 1988. "Taxation and U.S. Multinational Investment," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 2, pages 33-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Leechor, Chad & Mintz, Jack, 1993. "On the taxation of multinational corporate investment when the deferral method is used by the capital exporting country," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 75-96, May.
  43. Mihir C. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Domestic Capital Stock," NBER Working Papers 11075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. Harry Grubert & Joel Slemrod, 1994. "The Effect of Taxes on Investment and Income Shifting to Puerto Rico," NBER Working Papers 4869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. Coughlin, Cletus C & Terza, Joseph V & Arromdee, Vachira, 1991. "State Characteristics and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment within the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 675-83, November.
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