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The Computation and Comparison of the Effective Tax Burden in Four Asian Countries


  • Spengel, Christoph
  • Li, Wei
  • Zinn, Benedikt
  • Finke, Katharina


The Asia-Pacific region has gained economic power among the world's economies and offers enormous sales opportunities for multinational companies. When considering foreign direct investment in countries from this region, the specific taxation framework constitutes one determinant to be accounted for. The paper provides a comparative analysis of the corporate tax regimes in four important Asian countries, namely China, India, Japan and Singapore. It is not limited to a comprehensive description of the tax systems, but goes to a detailed analysis of the effective average tax burden, which is relevant for investors' decisions on location, scale and mode of finance of a potential investment. The calculation is based on the European Tax Analyzer. This approach allows capturing different types of taxes borne by corporations, the respective tax bases and tax rates in great detail and hence extends the literature on company taxation in Asia. In addition, we seek to contribute to literate not only by establishing a country ranking based on the overall tax burden, but also by identifying the underlying tax drivers. In doing so, sensitivity analyses are run to examine the effects of altering model assumptions, thereby illustrating the sensitivity of the base case results to selected financial ratios. As corporate income taxes might affect investments in various industry sectors differently, the comparison of the effective average tax burdens is finally extended to corporations representing different industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Spengel, Christoph & Li, Wei & Zinn, Benedikt & Finke, Katharina, 2011. "The Computation and Comparison of the Effective Tax Burden in Four Asian Countries," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 52(1), pages 13-39, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hitjec:v:52:y:2011:i:1:p:13-39

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Devereux, Michael P & Griffith, Rachel, 2003. "Evaluating Tax Policy for Location Decisions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(2), pages 107-126, March.
    2. Bond, Stephen R & Devereux, Michael P & Gammie, Malcolm J, 1996. "Tax Reform to Promote Investment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 109-117, Summer.
    3. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1984. "Introduction to "The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany"," NBER Chapters,in: The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 1998. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 335-367, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lazar Sebastian, 2015. "Tax Payments Determinants In Romania," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 749-756, July.

    More about this item


    Effective Average Tax Burden; European Tax Analyzer; Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy


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