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Why Is Capital So Immobile Internationally? Possible Explanations and Implications for Capital Income Taxation

  • Gordon, Roger H
  • Bovenberg, A Lans

The evidence on international capital immobility is extensive, including the lack of international portfolio diversification, real interest differentials across countries, and the high correlation between domestic savings and investment. The authors develop a model with asymmetric information between countries that helps rationalize all the above observations and then examine the implications of this model for optimal domestic tax policy. Without asymmetric information, past work showed that small open economies should not impose corporate income taxes. With asymmetric information, the optimal policy instead involves government subsidies to capital imports. Some omitted factors that argue against subsidizing capital imports are explored briefly. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 86 (1996)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1057-75

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:86:y:1996:i:5:p:1057-75
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  1. Robert E. Cumby & Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "International Interest Rate and Price Level Linkages under Flexible Exchange Rates: A Review of Recent Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 121-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld, 1985. "Capital Mobility in the World Economy: Theory and Measurement," NBER Working Papers 1692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alberto Giovannini & R. Glenn Hubbard & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "Studies in International Taxation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number giov93-1, 07.
  4. 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.
  5. Roger H. Gordon & Joosung Jun, 1992. "Taxes and the Form of Ownership of Foreign Corporate Equity," NBER Working Papers 4159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Tesar, L.L., 1988. "Savings, Investment And International Capital Flows," Papers 64, Brookings Institution - Working Papers.
  8. French, Kenneth R & Poterba, James M, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 222-26, May.
  9. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1989. "Taxation of asset income in the presence of a world securities market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 205-226, May.
  10. Cumby, Robert E. & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1986. "The international linkage of real interest rates: The European-US connection," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 5-23, March.
  11. Harris, Robert S & Ravenscraft, David, 1991. " The Role of Acquisitions in Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from the U.S. Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 825-44, July.
  12. Murphy, Robert G., 1984. "Capital mobility and the relationship between saving and investment rates in OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 327-342, December.
  13. Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Tax Policy and International Competitiveness," NBER Chapters, in: International Aspects of Fiscal Policies, pages 349-386 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Adler, Michael & Dumas, Bernard, 1983. " International Portfolio Choice and Corporation Finance: A Synthesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 925-84, June.
  15. Linda L. Tesar & Ingrid M. Werner, 1994. "International Equity Transactions and U.S. Portfolio Choice," NBER Working Papers 4611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Gerard Caprio & David H. Howard, 1983. "Domestic saving, current accounts, and international capital mobility," International Finance Discussion Papers 244, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. Finn, Mary G., 1990. "On savings and investment dynamics in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 1-21, August.
  18. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1982. "Are Real Interest Rates Equal Across Countries? An Empirical Investigation of International Parity Conditions," NBER Working Papers 1048, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Martin Feldstein & Charles Horioka, 1979. "Domestic Savings and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 0310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Tamim Bayoumi, 1990. "Saving-Investment Correlations: Immobile Capital, Government Policy, or Endogenous Behavior?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 360-387, June.
  21. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1991. "International tax competition and gains from tax harmonization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 69-76, September.
  22. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  23. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  24. Goodspeed, T-J & White, A-D, 1996. "International taxation," Papers 96-11, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
  25. Michael Dooley & Jeffrey Frankel & Donald J. Mathieson, 1987. "International Capital Mobility: What Do Saving-Investment Correlations Tell Us?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 503-530, September.
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