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Taxation and foreign direct investment (FDI): empirical evidence from a quasi-experiment in China

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  • Zhiyong An

Abstract

China’s new Corporate Income Tax Law was passed in March 2007 and took effect on January 1 2008. It terminates the dual corporate income tax regime by removing the preferential tax treatments offered to foreign investment enterprises (FIEs) and unifies the corporate income tax regime for FIEs and Chinese domestic enterprises (DEs). This paper uses a difference-in-differences approach to determine whether FIEs are responding to the law by reducing their investment in China. Employing the Chinese Industrial Enterprises Database (2002∼2008) to implement the analysis, we find that: (1) FIEs are responding to the law by reducing their investment in China; and (2) the magnitude of the response is larger for HongKong-Macau-Taiwan (HMT) investment enterprises than that for other FIEs, which supports the claim that some Chinese investors engaged in “roundtripping” FDI. Our confidence in the conclusions are further boosted by the results of a series of placebo tests and two robustness checks: (1) the results of the placebo tests support the claim that the estimated effect is due to the tax reform rather than to other confounding factors; (2) the results of the first robustness check are consistent with the perception that State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) might enjoy more favorable treatments from the Chinese government than Private-Owned Enterprises (POEs); and (3) the results of the second robustness check show that incorporating enterprise-specific time trends into the baseline specification of our econometric models does not change the conclusions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Zhiyong An, 2012. "Taxation and foreign direct investment (FDI): empirical evidence from a quasi-experiment in China," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(5), pages 660-676, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:19:y:2012:i:5:p:660-676
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-011-9201-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Dr. Nihal Bayraktar, 2015. "Importance of Investment Climates for Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Countries," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 5(1), pages 24-50, June.
    2. Qi, Yu & Shao, Shuai & Tian, Zhihua & Xu, Yang & Yin, Jun, 2022. "Environmental consequences of fair competition: Evidence from China's corporate income tax merger policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 195(C).
    3. Clemens Fuest & Li Liu, 2015. "Does Ownership Affect the Impact of Taxes on Firm Behavior? Evidence from China," CESifo Working Paper Series 5316, CESifo.
    4. Nihal Bayraktar, 2013. "Foreign Direct investment and Investment Climate," EcoMod2013 5294, EcoMod.
    5. Lu, Hongyou & Liu, Min & Song, Wenjing, 2022. "Place-based policies, government intervention, and regional innovation: Evidence from China's Resource-Exhausted City program," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    6. Peng, Fei & Wang, Ling & Peng, Langchuan & Wu, Huaqing, 2023. "Local government fiscal squeeze, environmental regulation and firms’ polluting behavior: Evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    7. Jie Mao & Chunhua Wang, 2016. "Tax incentives and environmental protection: evidence from China’s taxpayer-level data," China Finance and Economic Review, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 1-30, December.
    8. Sharvesh Digumber & Hemavadi Soondram & Bhavish Jugurnath, 2017. "Tax Policy and Foreign Direct Investment: Empirical Evidence from Mauritius," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 10(3), pages 42-56, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate income tax; Foreign direct investment (FDI); Foreign investment enterprise (FIE); Multinational corporation (MNC); H2; H32; H87;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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