IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/ecgeog/v91y2015i3p281-303.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Financial Secrecy Index: Shedding New Light on the Geography of Secrecy

Author

Listed:
  • Alex Cobham
  • Petr Janský
  • Markus Meinzer

Abstract

type="main"> Both academic research and public policy debate around tax havens and offshore finance typically suffer from a lack of definitional consistency. Unsurprisingly then, there is little agreement about which jurisdictions ought to be considered as tax havens—or which policy measures would result in their not being so considered. In this article we explore and make operational an alternative concept, that of a secrecy jurisdiction and present the findings of the resulting Financial Secrecy Index (FSI). The FSI ranks countries and jurisdictions according to their contribution to opacity in global financial flows, revealing a quite different geography of financial secrecy from the image of small island tax havens that may still dominate popular perceptions and some of the literature on offshore finance. Some major (secrecy-supplying) economies now come into focus. Instead of a binary division between tax havens and others, the results show a secrecy spectrum, on which all jurisdictions can be situated, and that adjustment for the scale of business is necessary in order to compare impact propensity. This approach has the potential to support more precise and granular research findings and policy recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Cobham & Petr Janský & Markus Meinzer, 2015. "The Financial Secrecy Index: Shedding New Light on the Geography of Secrecy," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(3), pages 281-303, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecgeog:v:91:y:2015:i:3:p:281-303
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecge.12094
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Karkinsky, Tom & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Corporate taxation and the choice of patent location within multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 176-185.
    2. Gordon L. Clark & Ashby H. B. Monk, 2013. "The scope of financial institutions: in-sourcing, outsourcing and off-shoring," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 279-298, March.
    3. Palan, Ronen, 2002. "Tax Havens and the Commercialization of State Sovereignty," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 151-176, January.
    4. Abbott, Kenneth W. & Snidal, Duncan, 2000. "Hard and Soft Law in International Governance," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 421-456, July.
    5. Niels Johannesen & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "The End of Bank Secrecy? An Evaluation of the G20 Tax Haven Crackdown," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 65-91, February.
    6. Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Taxing across Borders: Tracking Personal Wealth and Corporate Profits," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 121-148, Fall.
    7. James R. Hines & Eric M. Rice, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-182.
    8. Cobham, Alex & Loretz, Simon, 2014. "International Distribution of the Corporate Tax Base: Implications of Different Apportionment Factors under Unitary Taxation," Working Papers 11176, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
    9. Dixon, Adam D., 2014. "The New Geography of Capitalism: Firms, Finance, and Society," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199668243.
    10. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-1997, December.
    11. Neil M. Coe & Karen P. Y. Lai & Dariusz Wójcik, 2014. "Integrating Finance into Global Production Networks," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(5), pages 761-777, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ralph-C. Bayer & Roland Hodler & Paul A. Raschky & Anthony Strittmatter, 2018. "Expropriations, Property Confiscations and New Offshore Entities: Evidence from the Panama Papers," CESifo Working Paper Series 7328, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy & Chris Jones & Yama Temouri, 2017. "Does Tax Haven FDI Influence Firm Performance?," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n284-17.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    3. Petr Janský & Miroslav Palanský, 2019. "Estimating the scale of profit shifting and tax revenue losses related to foreign direct investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(5), pages 1048-1103, October.
    4. Kirsten Martinus & Thomas Sigler & Iacopo Iacopini & Ben Derudder, 2019. "The role of tax havens and offshore financial centers in Asia-Pacific networks: evidence from firm-subsidiary connections," Asian Business & Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 18(5), pages 389-411, November.
    5. Alex Cobham & Petr Janský, 2019. "Measuring misalignment: The location of US multinationals’ economic activity versus the location of their profits," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 37(1), pages 91-110, January.
    6. Emma Galli & Ilde Rizzo & Carla Scaglioni, 2018. "Is transparency spatially determined? An empirical test for the Italian Municipalities," Working Papers 6/18, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    7. Gordon L. Clark & Karen P. Y. Lai & Dariusz Wójcik, 2015. "Editorial Introduction to the Special Section: Deconstructing Offshore Finance," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(3), pages 237-249, July.
    8. Javier Garcia-Bernardo & Jan Fichtner & Eelke M. Heemskerk & Frank W. Takes, 2017. "Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and Sinks in the Global Corporate Ownership Network," Papers 1703.03016, arXiv.org, revised May 2017.
    9. Alex Cobham & Petr Janský, 2017. "Global distribution of revenue loss from tax avoidance: Re-estimation and country results," WIDER Working Paper Series 055, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Jan Rohan & Lukáš Moravec, 2017. "Tax Information Exchange Influence on Czech Based Companies’ Behavior in Relation to Tax Havens," Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, Mendel University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 721-726.
    11. Cobham, Alex & Faccio, Tommaso & FitzGerald, Valpy, 2019. "Global inequalities in taxing rights: An early evaluation of the OECD tax reform proposals," SocArXiv j3p48, Center for Open Science.
    12. Valentina Gullo & Pierluigi Montalbano, 2018. "Where does “dirty” money go? A gravity analysis," Working Papers 5/18, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    13. Meinzer, Markus, 2017. "Automatic Exchange of Information as the new global standard: the end of (offshore tax evasion) history?," MPRA Paper 77576, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Alex Cobham & Petr Janský, 2017. "Global distribution of revenue loss from tax avoidance: Re-estimation and country results," WIDER Working Paper Series 055, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    15. Jones, Chris & Temouri, Yama & Cobham, Alex, 2018. "Tax haven networks and the role of the Big 4 accountancy firms," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 177-193.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecgeog:v:91:y:2015:i:3:p:281-303. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/declaus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.