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Corporate tax effects on the quality and quantity of FDI

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  • Becker, Johannes
  • Fuest, Clemens
  • Riedel, Nadine

Abstract

This paper measures the relative importance of quality and quantity effects of corporate taxation on foreign direct investment. Quantity is affected if corporate taxes reduce the equilibrium stock of foreign capital in a given country. Quality effects arise if taxes decrease the extent to which investment contributes to the corporate tax base and the capital intensity of production. Depending on the sign of the quality effects, the detrimental welfare effects of corporate taxation are either mitigated or aggravated. We derive a number of hypotheses about how corporate tax changes may affect the quality of investment. Our hypotheses are then tested using data from a large sample of European multinationals. With regard to corporate tax effects on the corporate tax base, we find that quality effects account for up to 40% of the total effect. With regard to corporate tax effects on labour income, our results suggest that quality effects mitigate the negative quantity effect by nearly 60% (as corporate taxes strongly increase the labour intensity of production). An important implication is that governments should not exclusively care about the size of inbound FDI flows but also about their specific characteristics, i.e. their quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Becker, Johannes & Fuest, Clemens & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Corporate tax effects on the quality and quantity of FDI," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1495-1511.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:8:p:1495-1511
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2012.07.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Andreas Haufler & Frank Stähler, 2013. "Tax Competition In A Simple Model With Heterogeneous Firms: How Larger Markets Reduce Profit Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(2), pages 665-692, May.
    2. Becker, Johannes & Riedel, Nadine, 2013. "Multinational firms mitigate tax competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 404-406.
    3. Schwab, Thomas & Todtenhaupt, Maximilian, 2016. "Spillover from the haven: Cross-border externalities of patent box regimes within multinational firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-073, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Melisa Chanegriha & Chris Stewart & Christopher Tsoukis, 2017. "Identifying the robust economic, geographical and political determinants of FDI: an Extreme Bounds Analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 759-776, March.
    5. Schwab, Thomas & Todtenhaupt, Maximilian, 2017. "Spillover from the Haven: Cross-border Externalities of Patent Box Regimes within Multinational Firms," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168148, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Ortmann, Regina & Pummerer, Erich, 2015. "Formula apportionment or separate accounting? Tax-induced distortions of multinationals' locational investment decisions," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 198, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    7. Christof Ernst & Katharina Richter & Nadine Riedel, 2014. "Corporate taxation and the quality of research and development," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 694-719, August.
    8. Sandro Montresor & Francesco Quatraro, 2015. "Key Enabling Technologies and Smart Specialization Strategies. European Regional Evidence from patent data," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2015-05, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    9. Eda Balýkçýoðlu & Baþak Dalgýc & Burcu Fazlýoðlu, 2016. "Does Foreign Capital Increase Tax Revenue: The Turkish Case," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 776-781.
    10. Christoph Ernst & Katharina Richter & Nadine Riedel, 2013. "Corporate taxation and the quality of research & development," Working Papers 1301, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    11. Esther Kessler & Markus Prandini & Juan Wu, 2014. "Chinese Companies in Switzerland," Central European Business Review, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2014(3), pages 23-30.
    12. Alstadsaeter, Annette & Barrios, Salvador & Nicodème, Gaëtan & Skonieczna, Agnieszka Maria & Vezzani, Antonio, 2015. "Patent Boxes Design, Patents Location and Local R&D," CEPR Discussion Papers 10679, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Becker, Johannes & Fuest, Clemens, 2011. "Tax competition -- Greenfield investment versus mergers and acquisitions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 476-486, September.
    14. Ines Kersan-Škabić, 2015. "The Importance of Corporate Taxation for FDI Attractiveness of Southeast European Countries," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 62(1), pages 105-122, March.
    15. Clemens Fuest & Andreas Peichl & Daniel Waldenström, 2015. "Piketty’s r-g Model: Wealth Inequality and Tax Policy," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 16(1), pages 03-10, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate taxation; Foreign direct investment; Multinational firms;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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