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Optimal tax policy when firms are internationally mobile

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  • Johannes Becker

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  • Clemens Fuest

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Abstract

The standard tax theory result that investment should not be distorted is based on the assumption that profits are locally bound. In this paper we analyze the optimal tax policy in a model where firms are internationally mobile. We show that the optimal policy response to increasing firm mobility may be taxation, subsidization or non-distortion of the marginal investment, depending on whether the mobile firms are more or less profitable than the average firm in the economy. Our findings may contribute to understanding recent tax policy developments in many OECD countries.
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Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2011. "Optimal tax policy when firms are internationally mobile," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(5), pages 580-604, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:18:y:2011:i:5:p:580-604
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-011-9168-x
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    Cited by:

    1. Dominik Gajewski, 2013. "The Holding Company as an Instrument of Companies’ Tax-Financial Policy Formation," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 7(1), March.
    2. Siemers, Lars-H. R. & Zöller, Daniel, 2011. "Change-over within little scope: On the decision neutrality of recent tax reform proposals," MPRA Paper 27943, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Laura Kawano & Joel Slemrod, 2016. "How do corporate tax bases change when corporate tax rates change? With implications for the tax rate elasticity of corporate tax revenues," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(3), pages 401-433, June.
    4. Johannes Becker & Andrea Schneider, 2014. "Bidding for Firms with Unknown Characteristics," CESifo Working Paper Series 4806, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Bauer, Christian & Davies, Ronald B. & Haufler, Andreas, 2014. "Economic integration and the optimal corporate tax structure with heterogeneous firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 42-56.
    6. Michele Moretto & Paolo M. Panteghini & Sergio Vergalli, 2015. "Tax Competition, Investment Irreversibility and the Provision of Public Goods," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 16(4), pages 408-421, November.
    7. Laura Kawano & Joel Slemrod, 2012. "The Effect of Tax Rates and Tax Bases on Corporate Tax Revenues: Estimates with New Measures of the Corporate Tax Base," Working Papers 1219, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    8. Justus Haucap, 2012. "Steuern, Wettbewerb und Wettbewerbsneutralität," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(1-2), pages 103-115, February.
    9. Lang, Gunnar, 2012. "Lessons of the financial crisis for the attractiveness of European financial centers," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-080, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Ruud de Mooij & Michael P. Devereux, 2008. "Alternative Systems of Business Tax in Europe: An applied analysis of ACE and CBIT Reforms," Taxation Studies 0023, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    11. Margaret K. McKeehan & George R. Zodrow, 2017. "Balancing act: weighing the factors affecting the taxation of capital income in a small open economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(1), pages 1-35, February.
    12. John W. Diamond & George R. Zodrow & Thomas S. Neubig & Robert J. Carroll, 2014. "The Dynamic Economic Effects of a US Corporate Income Tax Rate Reduction," Working Papers 1405, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    13. 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.
    14. Zodrow, George R., 2010. "Capital Mobility and Capital Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 63(4), pages 865-901, December.
    15. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest & Thomas Hemmelgarn, 2006. "Corporate Tax Reform and Foreign Direct Investment in Germany – Evidence from Firm-Level Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 1722, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Streif, Frank, 2015. "Tax competition in Europe: Europe in competition with other world regions?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-082, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    17. Peter Egger & Horst Raff, 2015. "Tax rate and tax base competition for foreign direct investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 777-810, October.
    18. Johannes Becker & Andrea Schneider, 2012. "Taxation of Firms with Unknown Mobility," CESifo Working Paper Series 4012, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Paolo Panteghini, 2006. "A Simple Explanation for the Unfavorable Tax Treatment of Investment Costs," CESifo Working Paper Series 1784, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Dominik Gajewski, 2013. "Tax-related and Economic Consequences of Selecting the Method of Debt Financing of Companies with Regard to Thin Capitalisation in OECD Member Countries," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 7(2), June.
    21. Magnus Hoffmann & Marco Runkel, 2016. "A welfare comparison of ad valorem and unit tax regimes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(1), pages 140-157, February.
    22. Dominik Gajewski, 2012. "Chosen Tax-Related and Economic Aspects of Choosing the Method of Equity Financing in Relation to Thin Capitalisation in the Countries of OECD," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 6(1), March.
    23. Bräutigam, Rainer & Spengel, Christoph & Stutzenberger, Kathrin, 2017. "The development of corporate tax structures in the European Union from 1998 to 2015 - Qualitative and quantitative analysis," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-034, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate taxes; Optimal tax policy; Multinational firms; H25; H21; F23;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • 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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