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Taxation of foreign multinationals: A sequential bargaining approach to tax holidays

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  • Chris Doyle
  • Sweder Wijnbergen

Abstract

In this paper we view the tax schedule applied to the profits of a Multinational Enterprise (MNE) as the outcome of a sequential bargaining process and show, using modern game theory developments (the "perfect equilibrium" solution concept) that tax holidays will emerge from such a process if a MNE incurs fixed costs upon entry. At the core of our results is the recognition that the existence of sunk costs creates an ex post (entry) bilateral monopoly situation. We show that the tax rate emerging from this form of bargaining has a dynamic structure. We obtain results on the length and discounted value of the tax holiday, its precise form and the way all this responds to changes in fixed costs.
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Suggested Citation

  • Chris Doyle & Sweder Wijnbergen, 1994. "Taxation of foreign multinationals: A sequential bargaining approach to tax holidays," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 1(3), pages 211-225, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:1:y:1994:i:3:p:211-225
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00873838
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1994. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Risk of Expropriation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 81-108.
    3. King, Ian & Welling, Linda, 1992. "Commitment, Efficiency and Footloose Firms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(233), pages 63-73, February.
    4. Bond, Eric W & Samuelson, Larry, 1986. "Tax Holidays as Signals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 820-826, September.
    5. Jean-Francois Wen, 1992. "Tax Holidays in a Business Climate," Working Papers 864, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    6. Black, Dan A & Hoyt, William H, 1989. "Bidding for Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1249-1256, December.
    7. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1984. "Involuntary Unemployment as a Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1351-1364, November.
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    Keywords

    tax holidays; bargaining; sunk costs; multinationals;

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