IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The determinants of portfolio investment in offshore financial centers


  • Foad, Hisham
  • Lundberg, Clark


An offshore financial center (OFC) is generally defined as a jurisdiction in which the financial sector is disproportionately larger than the domestic economy. We examine what national level push factors determine a country's investment in OFCs using a panel data set covering 78 source countries investing in over 200 foreign jurisdictions. OFCs are defined using an existing method based on institutional characteristics and fiscal policies as well as with a novel data-driven method based on actual financial positions relative to GDP. We find that OFC investment is driven by various aspects of low profitability in the source country. Source country factors such as inefficient labor markets, weak infrastructure, and competitive markets drive investments toward OFCs. These factors have an even larger impact on OFC investment than corporate tax rates in the source country. This suggests that a country seeking to reduce utilization of OFC's should focus on policies like improving domestic infrastructure and the efficiency of labor markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Foad, Hisham & Lundberg, Clark, 2017. "The determinants of portfolio investment in offshore financial centers," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 76-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:76-86
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irfa.2017.08.003

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James R. Hines, 2010. "Treasure Islands," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 103-126, Fall.
    2. Jones, Chris & Temouri, Yama, 2016. "The determinants of tax haven FDI," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 237-250.
    3. Luisa R. Blanco & Cynthia L. Rogers, 2014. "Are Tax Havens Good Neighbours? FDI Spillovers and Developing Countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(4), pages 530-540, April.
    4. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2011. "Cross-Border Investment in Small International Financial Centres," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 301-330, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Dharmapala, Dhammika & Hines Jr., James R., 2009. "Which countries become tax havens?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1058-1068, October.
    7. Ahmed Zoromé, 2007. "Concept of Offshore Financial Centers; In Search of an Operational Definition," IMF Working Papers 07/87, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    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:eee:finana:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:76-86. 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: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: .

    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.