IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Effect of Tax Treaties on Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Microdata

  • Ronald B. Davies
  • Pehr-Johan Norbäck
  • Ayça Tekin-Koru

This paper uses affiliate-level data from Swedish multinationals to examine the impact of tax treaties on both overall affiliate sales and the composition of those sales. In line with previous results, we find little evidence for an effect of treaties on the level of total sales. We do, however, find that a tax treaty increases the probability of investment by a firm in a given country. In addition, we find that a treaty reduces exports to the parent but increases imports of intermediate inputs from the parent. This is consistent with treaties increasing the effective host tax. This suggests that tax treaties impact the behaviour of multinationals along some dimensions but not along others. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal World Economy.

Volume (Year): 32 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 77-110

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:32:y:2009:i:1:p:77-110
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Rosanne Altshuler & Harry Grubert & T. Scott Newlon, 1998. "Has U.S. Investment Abroad Become More Sensitive to Tax Rates?," NBER Working Papers 6383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Karolina Ekholm & Rikard Forslid & James R. Markusen, 2007. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 776-795, 06.
  3. Janeba, Eckhard, 1996. "Foreign direct investment under oligopoly: Profit shifting or profit capturing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 423-445, June.
  4. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Scholarly Articles 3445092, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Julian di Giovanni & Contact:, 2003. "What Drives Capital Flows? The Case of Cross-Border M&A Activity and Financial Deepening," International Trade 0303002, EconWPA.
  6. Kelly Edmiston & Shannon Mudd & Neven Valev, 2003. "Tax Structures and FDI: The Deterrent Effects of Complexity and Uncertainty," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 341-359, September.
  7. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2002. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 3455, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Thomas A. Gresik, 2001. "The Taxing Task of Taxing Transnationals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 800-838, September.
  9. Roger H. Gordon & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "International Taxation," NBER Working Papers 8854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ronald B. Davies, 2004. "Tax Treaties and Foreign Direct Investment: Potential versus Performance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(6), pages 775-802, November.
  11. Keen, M. & Ligthart, J.E., 2004. "Incentives and Information Exchange in International Taxation," Discussion Paper 2004-54, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Desbordes Rodolphe & Vincent Vicard, 2009. "Foreign Direct Investment and Bilateral Investment Treaties: an International Political Perspective," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00395101, HAL.
  13. Hanson, G.H., 1999. "`Market Potential, Increasing Returns, and Geographic Concentration," Working Papers 439, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  14. Daniel Millimet & Abdullah Kumas, 2007. "Reassessing the Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on US FDI Activity," Departmental Working Papers 0704, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  15. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Davies, Ronald B. & Waddell, Glen R. & Naughton, Helen T., 2007. "FDI in space: Spatial autoregressive relationships in foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1303-1325, July.
  16. Norback, Pehr-Johan, 2001. "Multinational firms, technology and location," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 449-469, August.
  17. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies, 2000. "The Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on U.S. FDI Activity," NBER Working Papers 7929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Bruce Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 383-403, December.
  19. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Jack Mintz, 2003. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 956, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Céline Azemar & Rodolphe Desbordes & Jean-Louis Mucchielli, 2007. "Do tax sparing agreements contribute to the attraction of FDI in developing countries?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00310534, HAL.
  21. James R. Hines Jr., 1992. "Credit and Deferral as International Investment Incentives," NBER Working Papers 4191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Henry Louie & Donald Rousslang, 2008. "Host-country governance, tax treaties and US direct investment abroad," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 256-273, June.
  23. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00176051 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Ronald B. Davies, 2003. "Tax Treaties, Renegotiations, and Foreign Direct Investment," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2003-14, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 10 Jun 2003.
  25. Vibhas Madan, 2000. "Transfer prices and the structure of intra-firm trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 53-68, February.
  26. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies, 2002. "Do Bilateral Tax Treaties Promote Foreign Direct Investment?," NBER Working Papers 8834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2007. "Estimating models of complex FDI: Are there third-country effects?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 260-281, September.
  28. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2003. "Tax-motivated transfer pricing and US intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2207-2223, September.
  29. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2006. "The impact of endogenous tax treaties on foreign direct investment: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 901-931, August.
  30. Blonigen, Bruce A, 1997. "Firm-Specific Assets and the Link between Exchange Rates and Foreign Direct Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 447-65, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:32:y:2009:i:1:p:77-110. 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-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.