IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jmacro/v40y2014icp159-171.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do intangible assets explain high U.S. foreign direct investment returns?

Author

Listed:
  • Bridgman, Benjamin

Abstract

U.S. investors abroad receive a higher return on their assets than their counterparts that invest in the United States. I examine the degree to which excluding intangible assets and repatriation taxes from the international transactions accounts can account for this gap. Using a growth accounting framework, I find that adjusting for these exclusions cuts the gap by more than half. The overall returns gap is nearly eliminated when the adjusted FDI rates of return are applied to the overall overseas asset portfolio. The results suggest a portion of the gap is persistent.

Suggested Citation

  • Bridgman, Benjamin, 2014. "Do intangible assets explain high U.S. foreign direct investment returns?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 159-171.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:159-171 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2014.03.006
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0164070414000500
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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. Maurice Obstfeld, 2012. "Does the Current Account Still Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1-23.
    2. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital and Technology: An Expanded Framework," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 11-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2009. "Current Account Sustainability and Relative Reliability," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2008, pages 67-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. John Van Reenen & Rupert Harrison & Rachel Griffith, 2006. "How Special Is the Special Relationship? Using the Impact of U.S. R&D Spillovers on U.K. Firms as a Test of Technology Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1859-1875.
    5. Ricardo Hausmann & Federico Sturzenegger, 2007. "The missing dark matter in the wealth of nations and its implications for global imbalances," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 469-518, July.
    6. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Charles P. Thomas & Francis E. Warnock, 2013. "On returns differentials," International Finance Discussion Papers 1077, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "International Financial Adjustment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 665-703, August.
    8. Kyoji Fukao & Tsutomu Miyagawa & Kentaro Mukai & Yukio Shinoda & Konomi Tonogi, 2009. "Intangible Investment In Japan: Measurement And Contribution To Economic Growth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 717-736, September.
    9. Keqiang Hou & Alok Johri, 2009. "Intangible Capital, Corporate Earnings and the Business Cycle," Department of Economics Working Papers 2009-17, McMaster University.
    10. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2010. "Technology Capital and the US Current Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1493-1522.
    11. Ellen McGrattan, 2012. "Transition to FDI Openness: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(4), pages 437-458, October.
    12. Altshuler, Rosanne & Grubert, Harry, 2003. "Repatriation taxes, repatriation strategies and multinational financial policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 73-107.
    13. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons From Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 305-322, June.
    14. Forbes, Kristin J., 2010. "Why do foreigners invest in the United States?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 3-21.
    15. Robert E. Lipsey, 2010. "Measuring The Location Of Production In A World Of Intangible Productive Assets, Fdi, And Intrafirm Trade," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(s1), pages 99-110, June.
    16. Mark E. Doms & J . Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Comparing Wages, Skills, and Productivity between Domestically and Foreign-Owned Manufacturing Establishments in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 235-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Lee Pinkowitz & René M. Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2012. "Multinationals and the High Cash Holdings Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 18120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-border returns differentials," International Finance Discussion Papers 921, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Varadarajan V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2008. "Time Inconsistency and Free-Riding in a Monetary Union," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(7), pages 1329-1356, October.
    20. Dhammika Dharmapala & C. Fritz Foley & Kristin J. Forbes, 2011. "Watch What I Do, Not What I Say: The Unintended Consequences of the Homeland Investment Act," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(3), pages 753-787, June.
    21. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-Border Returns Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1495-1530.
    22. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
    23. Griffith, Rachel & Harrison, Rupert & Van Reenen, John, 2004. "How special is the special relationship?: using the impact of R&D spillovers on UK firms as a test of technology sourcing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 711, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    24. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2010. "Why Have Economic Reforms in Mexico Not Generated Growth?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1005-1027.
    25. Harald Badinger, 2007. "Has the EU's Single Market Programme Fostered Competition? Testing for a Decrease in Mark-up Ratios in EU Industries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(4), pages 497-519, August.
    26. Curcuru, Stephanie E. & Thomas, Charles P. & Warnock, Francis E., 2013. "On returns differentials," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-25.
    27. Juann H. Hung & Angelo Mascaro, 2004. "Return on Cross-Border Investment: Why Does U.S. Investment Abroad Do Better? Technical Paper 2004-17," Working Papers 16204, Congressional Budget Office.
    28. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
    29. Gabriel Zucman, 2013. "The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1321-1364.
    30. Backus, David & Henriksen, Espen & Storesletten, Kjetil, 2008. "Taxes and the global allocation of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 48-61, January.
    31. Christopher M. Meissner & Alan M. Taylor, 2006. "Losing our marbles in the new century?: the great rebalancing in historical perspective," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    32. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James R. Jr., 2001. "Repatriation Taxes and Dividend Distortions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(4), pages 829-851, December.
    33. Rosanne Altshuler, 1995. "Do Repatriation Taxes Matter? Evidence from the Tax Returns of U.S. Multinationals," NBER Chapters,in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 253-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Joaquim Oliveira Martins & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Levels and Cyclical Behaviour of Mark-ups Across Countries and Market Structures," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 213, OECD Publishing.
    35. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2014. "A Reassessment of Real Business Cycle Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 177-182, May.
    36. Hasegawa, Makoto & Kiyota, Kozo, 2017. "The effect of moving to a territorial tax system on profit repatriation: Evidence from Japan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 92-110.
    37. Markle, Kevin S. & Shackelford, Douglas A., 2012. "Cross-Country Comparisons of Corporate Income Taxes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(3), pages 493-527, September.
    38. Ellen McGrattan, 2012. "Transition to FDI Openness: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(4), pages 437-458, October.
    39. Robert E. Baldwin & Robert E. Lipsey & J. David Richards, 1998. "Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bald98-1, January.
    40. Rogoff, Kenneth, 2007. "Global imbalances and exchange rate adjustment," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 705-709.
    41. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2005. "Modeling and Measuring Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1026-1053, October.
    42. Charles R. Hulten & Janet X. Hao, 2012. "The Role Of Intangible Capital in the Transformation and Growth of the Chinese Economy," NBER Working Papers 18405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    43. Rachel Soloveichik, 2013. "Music Originals as Capital Assets," BEA Working Papers 0096, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    44. Fritz Foley, C. & Hartzell, Jay C. & Titman, Sheridan & Twite, Garry, 2007. "Why do firms hold so much cash? A tax-based explanation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 579-607, December.
    45. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Taxes, Regulations, and the Value of U.S. and U.K. Corporations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 767-796.
    46. Sourafel Girma & Steve Thompson & Peter W. Wright, 2002. "Why are Productivity and Wages Higher in Foreign Firms?," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 33(1), pages 93-100.
    47. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2009. "Financial Integration, Financial Development, and Global Imbalances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 371-416, June.
    48. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
    49. van Ark, Bart & Hao, Janet X. & Corrado, Carol & Hulten, Charles, 2009. "Measuring intangible capital and its contribution to economic growth in Europe," EIB Papers 3/2009, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    50. Kegiang Hou & Alok Johri, 2013. "Intangible Capital and the Excess Volatility of Aggregate Profits," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-04, McMaster University.
    51. Ralph Kozlow & Patricia Abaroa, 2006. "U.S. Multinational Companies, Dividends, and Taxes," BEA Papers 0065, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    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. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2010. "Technology Capital and the US Current Account," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1493-1522.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    F21; F23; F3; Returns differentials; Intangible capital; Multinational taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

    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:eee:jmacro:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:159-171. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617 .

    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.