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Cross-border acquisitions and taxes: efficiency and tax revenues


  • Pehr-Johan Norbäck
  • Lars Persson
  • Jonas Vlachos


We develop a theoretical oligopoly model to study how international differences in profit and capital gains taxes affect foreign acquisitions. Reductions in foreign profit taxes tend to trigger inefficient foreign acquisitions, while reductions in foreign capital gains taxes may trigger efficient foreign acquisitions. Foreign acquisitions can increase domestic tax revenues even when profit taxes are evaded. The reason is that bidding competition between foreign firms ensures that all benefits from the acquisition, including tax advantages, are captured by a domestic seller paying capital gains taxes. Tax code issues, such as the treatment of goodwill, are shown to affect the pattern of foreign acquisitions.

Suggested Citation

  • Pehr-Johan Norbäck & Lars Persson & Jonas Vlachos, 2009. "Cross-border acquisitions and taxes: efficiency and tax revenues," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1473-1500, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:42:y:2009:i:4:p:1473-1500

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ray Chaudhuri, A., 2014. "Acquisitions by Multinationals and Trade Liberalization," Discussion Paper 2014-006, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Elsayyad, May & Konrad, Kai A., 2012. "Fighting multiple tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 295-305.
    3. Bhagat, Sanjai & Malhotra, Shavin & Zhu, PengCheng, 2011. "Emerging country cross-border acquisitions: Characteristics, acquirer returns and cross-sectional determinants," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 250-271, September.
    4. Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars & Tåg, Joacim, 2010. "Does the Debt Tax Shield Distort Ownership Efficiency?," Working Paper Series 841, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 22 Sep 2017.
    5. Sjögren, Anna, 2010. "Graded Children – Evidence of Longrun Consequences of School Grades from a Nationwide Reform," Working Paper Series 839, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Henrekson, Magnus & Sanandaji, Tino, 2016. "Owner-Level Taxes and Business Activity," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 12(1), pages 1-94, March.
    7. Forssbæck, Jens & Oxelheim, Lars, 2011. "Corporate financial determinants of foreign direct investment," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 269-282, June.
    8. Fikru, Mahelet G. & Lahiri, Sajal, 2014. "Cross-border mergers with flexible policy regime: The role of efficiency and market size," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 58-70.
    9. Ray Chaudhuri, A., 2011. "Cross-Border Mergers and Market Segmentation (Replaces CentER DP 2010-096)," Discussion Paper 2011-112, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business


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