IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v96y2012i3p400-416.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal fiscal barriers to international economic integration in the presence of tax havens

Author

Listed:
  • Johannesen, Niels

Abstract

This paper develops a model where firms can shift profits to tax havens by means of intra-firm loans and countries can protect themselves against profit shifting by taxing cross-border interest flows. The model considers two countries with a scope for welfare improving economic integration. The first-best tax system has two important characteristics: (i) the tax rate on interest flows to the other country is zero to ensure the optimal level of economic integration; (ii) the tax rate on interest flows to tax havens is high enough to deter profit shifting to tax havens. In second-best environments, countries face a trade-off between economic integration and protection against tax havens, which causes protection to be suboptimally low. The key to the result is that economic integration makes it easier for multinational firms to circumvent taxes on interest payments to tax havens with conduit loans. The paper thus provides an explanation for the empirical puzzle that many countries do not tax interest payments to tax havens despite the scope for profit shifting.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannesen, Niels, 2012. "Optimal fiscal barriers to international economic integration in the presence of tax havens," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 400-416.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:3:p:400-416
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2011.12.008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272711001885
    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

    as
    1. Buettner, Thiess & Wamser, Georg, 2013. "Internal Debt and Multinational Profit Shifting: Empirical Evidence From Firm-Level Panel Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 66(1), pages 63-95, March.
    2. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc & Nicodeme, Gaetan, 2008. "Capital structure and international debt shifting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 80-118, April.
    3. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "The demand for tax haven operations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 513-531, February.
    4. Niels Johannesen, 2016. "Taxing the Financially Integrated Multinational Firm," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(4), pages 487-510, August.
    5. Fred Ramb & Alfons J. Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxes and the Financial Structure of German Inward FDI," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(4), pages 670-692, December.
    6. Johannesen, Niels, 2010. "Imperfect tax competition for profits, asymmetric equilibrium and beneficial tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 253-264, July.
    7. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2004. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2451-2487, December.
    8. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    9. Janeba, Eckhard & Peters, Wolfgang, 1999. "Tax Evasion, Tax Competition and the Gains from Nondiscrimination: The Case of Interest Taxation in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 93-101, January.
    10. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2000. "Tax evasion, fiscal competition and economic integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1633-1657, October.
    11. Marceau, Nicolas & Mongrain, Steeve & Wilson, John D., 2010. "Why do most countries set high tax rates on capital?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 249-259, March.
    12. Jack Mintz, 2004. "Conduit Entities: Implications of Indirect Tax-Efficient Financing Structures for Real Investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(4), pages 419-434, August.
    13. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-329, May.
    14. Hong, Qing & Smart, Michael, 2010. "In praise of tax havens: International tax planning and foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 82-95, January.
    15. Slemrod, Joel & Wilson, John D., 2009. "Tax competition with parasitic tax havens," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1261-1270, December.
    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. Niels Johannesen, 2012. "Cross-border hybrid instruments," EPRU Working Paper Series 2012-02, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    2. Haufler, Andreas & Runkel, Marco, 2012. "Firms' financial choices and thin capitalization rules under corporate tax competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1087-1103.
    3. Hsun Chu & Chu-Chuan Cheng & Yu-Bong Lai, 2015. "A political economy of tax havens," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(6), pages 956-976, December.
    4. Langenmayr, Dominika & Haufler, Andreas & Bauer, Christian J., 2015. "Should tax policy favor high- or low-productivity firms?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 18-34.
    5. Gresik, Thomas A. & Schindler, Dirk & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2015. "The Effect of Tax Havens on Host Country Welfare," Discussion Papers 2015/19, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    6. Finke, Katharina & Fuest, Clemens & Nusser, Hannah & Spengel, Christoph, 2014. "Extending taxation of interest and royalty income at source: An option to limit base erosion and profit shifting?," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-073, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Hebous, Shafik & Lipatov, Vilen, 2014. "A journey from a corruption port to a tax haven," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 739-754.
    8. Mihai-Bogdan AFRASINEI & Iuliana Eugenia GEORGESCU & Costel ISTRATE, 2016. "The Influence Of The Connections Of Romanian Non-Listed Firms To Tax Havens On Their Profitability," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 8(4), pages 572-596, December.
    9. Shafik Hebous, 2014. "Money at the Docks of Tax Havens: A Guide," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 70(3), pages 458-485, September.
    10. Niels Johannesen, 2011. "Strategic Line Drawing between Debt and Equity," EPRU Working Paper Series 2011-04, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    11. John D. Wilson, 2015. "Tax Havens in a World of Competing Countries," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 32-29, 01.
    12. John D. Wilson, 2015. "Tax Havens in a World of Competing Countries," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 32-39, 01.
    13. Shafik Hebous & Niels Johannesen, 2015. "At Your Service! The Role of Tax Havens in International Trade with Services," CESifo Working Paper Series 5414, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Johannesen, Niels, 2014. "Tax avoidance with cross-border hybrid instruments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 40-52.
    15. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2015:i:4:p:19149988 is not listed on IDEAS

    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:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:3:p:400-416. 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/505578 .

    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.