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Taxation and the Sources of Growth: Estimates from United States Multinational Corporations

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  • Jason G. Cummins

Abstract

Capital income tax policy affects investment by the parent and affiliates of multinational corporations (MNCs). In a model in which technical advances are embodied in new capital, investment will translate directly into productivity gains. In this paper, I use this framework to guide the growth accounting decomposition and clarify the relationship between capital growth and overall firm growth. A semiparametric technique is used to correct for the usual bias that afflicts production function parameter estimates. These estimates are used to analyze the sources of MNC's growth. Three findings stand out: (1) growth in parent and affiliate capital are the most important sources of growth, with FDI contributing more to growth than the sum of the contributions of parent and affiliate employment, and materials; (2) productivity has boomed since 1992, due to productivity growth in MNCs with Canadian affiliates; (3) the investment elasticity of productivity growth is large and adjustment costs of investment are small, suggesting that changes in the after-tax price of capital result in robust investment which translates directly into productivity gains.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6533.

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Date of creation: Apr 1998
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Publication status: published as Jason G. Cummins, 2000. "Taxation and the Sources of Growth: Estimates from U.S. Multinational Corporations," NBER Chapters, in: International Taxation and Multinational Activity, pages 231-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6533

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  1. Hulten, Charles R, 1978. "Growth Accounting with Intermediate Inputs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 511-18, October.
  2. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "The Inconsistency of Common Scales Estimators when Output Prices are Unobserved and Endogenous," Discussion Papers 127, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  3. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Baily, Martin Neil, 1986. "Productivity Growth and Materials Use in U.S. Manufacturing [Productivity and the Services of Capital and Labor]," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 185-95, February.
  5. Jorgenson, Dale W., 1966. "The Embodiment Hypothesis," Scholarly Articles 3403063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1966. "The Embodiment Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 1.
  7. Grubb, David, 1986. "Raw Materials, Profits, and the Productivity Slowdown: Some Doubts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 175-84, February.
  8. Mundlak, Yair, 1996. "Production Function Estimation: Reviving the Primal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 431-38, March.
  9. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  10. Jason Cummins & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1995. "The Tax Sensitivity of Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Firm-Level Panel Data," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 123-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Leamer, Edward E, 1988. "The Sensitivity of International Comparisons of Capital Stock Measures to Different "Real" Exchange Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 479-83, May.
  13. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & Stephen D. Oliner, 2006. "Investment Behavior, Observable Expectations, and Internal Funds," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 796-810, June.
  14. Hayashi, Fumio & Inoue, Tohru, 1991. "The Relation between Firm Growth and Q with Multiple Capital Goods: Theory and Evidence from Panel Data on Japanese Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 731-53, May.
  15. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-47, February.
  16. Hulten, Charles R, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change Is Embodied in Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 964-80, September.
  17. Charles R. Hulten, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change is Embodied in Capital," NBER Working Papers 3971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Cummins, Jason G. & Hassett, Kevin A. & Hubbard, R. Glenn, 1996. "Tax reforms and investment: A cross-country comparison," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 237-273, October.
  19. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "A Reconsideration of Investment Behavior Using Tax Reforms as Natural Experiments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 1-74.
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