IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jeczfn/v127y2019i2d10.1007_s00712-018-0636-y.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Are tax havens good? Implications of the crackdown on secrecy

Author

Listed:
  • Alfons J. Weichenrieder

    (Goethe University Frankfurt
    Vienna University of Business and Economics
    CESifo)

  • Fangying Xu

    (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Abstract

While parts of the economic literature emphasize possible positive effects of tax havens on high-tax countries, the present paper argues that proponents of positive effects may have started from questionable premises, in particular when it comes to the effects that tax havens have for emerging markets like China and India. We reconsider the effect of tax havens if countries can differentiate tax rates conditional on foreign ownership of firms, but tax-haven secrecy makes identification of ultimate ownership difficult. In this setting, we derive positive welfare effects of a crackdown on tax haven secrecy.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Fangying Xu, 2019. "Are tax havens good? Implications of the crackdown on secrecy," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 147-160, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jeczfn:v:127:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s00712-018-0636-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s00712-018-0636-y
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00712-018-0636-y
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s00712-018-0636-y?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James R. Hines, 2010. "Treasure Islands," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 103-126, Fall.
    2. Mongrain, Steeve & Wilson, John D., 2018. "Tax competition with heterogeneous capital mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 177-189.
    3. Michael P. Dooley, 1988. "Capital Flight: A Response to Differences in Financial Risks," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 35(3), pages 422-436, September.
    4. Karkinsky, Tom & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Corporate taxation and the choice of patent location within multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 176-185.
    5. Bruce A. Blonigen & Lindsay Oldenski & Nicholas Sly, 2019. "The Differential Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foreign Direct Investment, chapter 7, pages 235-263, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Guttorm Schjelderup, 2016. "Secrecy jurisdictions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(1), pages 168-189, February.
    7. Morten Bennedsen & Stefan Zeume, 2018. "Corporate Tax Havens and Transparency," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(4), pages 1221-1264.
    8. J. C. Sharman, 2010. "Shopping for Anonymous Shell Companies: An Audit Study of Anonymity and Crime in the International Financial System," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 127-140, Fall.
    9. Schindler, Dirk & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2012. "Debt shifting and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 635-647.
    10. Thomas Gresik & Dirk Schindler & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2015. "The Effect of Tax Havens on Host Country Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 5314, CESifo.
    11. Svetlana Ledyaeva & Päivi Karhunen & Riitta Kosonen & John Whalley, 2015. "Offshore Foreign Direct Investment, Capital Round-Tripping, and Corruption: Empirical Analysis of Russian Regions," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 91(3), pages 305-341, July.
    12. Keen, Michael, 2001. "Preferential Regimes Can Make Tax Competition Less Harmful," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 4), pages 757-62, December.
    13. Gordon, Roger & Li, Wei, 2009. "Tax structures in developing countries: Many puzzles and a possible explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 855-866, August.
    14. Martin Ruf & Alfons J. Weichenrieder, 2012. "The taxation of passive foreign investment: lessons from German experience," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1504-1528, November.
    15. Caputo, Michael R., 1996. "The Envelope Theorem and Comparative Statics of Nash Equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 201-224, April.
    16. DeBacker, Jason & Heim, Bradley T. & Tran, Anh, 2015. "Importing corruption culture from overseas: Evidence from corporate tax evasion in the United States," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 122-138.
    17. 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.
    18. Elsayyad, May & Konrad, Kai A., 2012. "Fighting multiple tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 295-305.
    19. Gresik, Thomas A. & Schindler, Dirk & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2017. "Immobilizing corporate income shifting: Should it be safe to strip in the harbor?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 68-78.
    20. 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.
    21. Braun, Julia & Weichenrieder, Alfons, 2015. "Does exchange of information between tax authorities influence multinationals' use of tax havens?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-015, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    22. Clemens Fuest & Li Liu, 2015. "Does Ownership Affect the Impact of Taxes on Firm Behavior? Evidence from China," CESifo Working Paper Series 5316, CESifo.
    23. 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.
    24. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies, 2004. "The Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on U.S. FDI Activity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(5), pages 601-622, September.
    25. Niels Johannesen & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "The End of Bank Secrecy? An Evaluation of the G20 Tax Haven Crackdown," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 65-91, February.
    26. Dhammika Dharmapala, 2008. "What problems and opportunities are created by tax havens?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press and Oxford Review of Economic Policy Limited, vol. 24(4), pages 661-679, winter.
    27. 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.
    28. Zucman, Gabriel & Fagan, Teresa Lavender & Piketty, Thomas, 2015. "The Hidden Wealth of Nations," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226245423, Febrero.
    29. Svetlana Ledyaeva & Päivi Karhunen & Riitta Kosonen & John Whalley, 2015. "Offshore Foreign Direct Investment, Capital Round-Tripping, and Corruption: Empirical Analysis of Russian Regions," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(3), pages 305-341, July.
    30. 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.
    31. Katarzyna Bilicka & Clemens Fuest, 2014. "With which countries do tax havens share information?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(2), pages 175-197, April.
    32. Michelle Hanlon & Edward L. Maydew & Jacob R. Thornock, 2015. "Taking the Long Way Home: U.S. Tax Evasion and Offshore Investments in U.S. Equity and Debt Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(1), pages 257-287, February.
    33. Keen, Michael, 2001. "Preferential Regimes Can Make Tax Competition Less Harmful," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 54(4), pages 757-762, December.
    34. 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.
    35. Dharmapala, Dhammika & Hines Jr., James R., 2009. "Which countries become tax havens?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(9-10), pages 1058-1068, October.
    36. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "Do tax havens divert economic activity?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 219-224, February.
    37. Haupt, Alexander & Peters, Wolfgang, 2005. "Restricting preferential tax regimes to avoid harmful tax competition," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 493-507, September.
    38. Caruana-Galizia, Paul & Caruana-Galizia, Matthew, 2016. "Offshore financial activity and tax policy: evidence from a leaked data set," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 457-488, September.
    39. Konrad Kai A. & Olsen Trond E. & Schob Ronnie, 1994. "Resource Extraction and the Threat of Possible Expropriation: The Role of Swiss Bank Accounts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 149-162, March.
    40. repec:idb:brikps:9167 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Mongrain, Steeve & Oh, David & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2023. "Tax competition in the presence of profit shifting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 224(C).
    2. Sharafutdinova,Gulnaz & Lokshin,Michael M., 2020. "Hide and Protect : A Role of Global Financial Secrecy in Shaping Domestic Institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9348, The World Bank.
    3. Mongrain, Steeve & Wilson, John D., 2018. "Tax competition with heterogeneous capital mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 177-189.
    4. Zarko Y. Kalamov, 2023. "Internal debt and welfare," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 25(1), pages 196-224, February.
    5. Narciz Balasoiu, 2021. "Tax Havens - An Insidious Mechanism for Evading Tax Obligations," RAIS Conference Proceedings 2021 0049, Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies.
    6. Weichenrieder, Alfons J., 2016. "Panama & Co: Implikationen für die Steuerpolitik," SAFE Policy Letters 52, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Konrad, Kai A. & Stolper, Tim B.M., 2016. "Coordination and the fight against tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 96-107.
    2. Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Shafik Hebous & Niels Johannesen & Katarzyna Anna Bilicka, 2018. "The Present and Future of Tax Havens / El presente y futuro de los paraísos fiscales / El present i futur dels paradisos fiscals," IEB Reports ieb_report_4_2018, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. Vincent Bouvatier & Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Anne-Laure Delatte, 2017. "Banks Defy Gravity in Tax Havens," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-03101505, HAL.
    4. 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.
    5. Menkhoff, Lukas & Miethe, Jakob, 2019. "Tax evasion in new disguise? Examining tax havens' international bank deposits," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 176, pages 53-78.
    6. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2015:i:4:p:19149984 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Fernando, Garcia Alvarado & Antoine, Mandel, 2022. "The network structure of global tax evasion evidence from the Panama papers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 197(C), pages 660-684.
    8. Shafik Hebous & Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2015. "What Do We Know about the Tax Planning of German-based Multinational Firms?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(04), pages 15-21, January.
    9. Pieretti, Patrice & Pulina, Giuseppe, 2020. "Does eliminating international profit shifting increase tax revenue in high-tax countries?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 717-727.
    10. 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.
    11. Shafik Hebous & Alfons J. Weichenrieder, 2015. "What Do We Know about the Tax Planning of German-based Multinational Firms?," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 15-21, 01.
    12. Bayer, Ralph-C. & Hodler, Roland & Raschky, Paul A. & Strittmatter, Anthony, 2020. "Expropriations, property confiscations and new offshore entities: Evidence from the Panama Papers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 132-152.
    13. Michael Keen & Kai A. Konrad, 2012. "International Tax Competition and Coordination," Working Papers international_tax_competi, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    14. Dhammika Dharmapala, 2020. "Do Multinational Firms Use Tax Havens to the Detriment of Other Countries?," CESifo Working Paper Series 8275, CESifo.
    15. Alessia Cassetta & Claudio Pauselli & Lucia Rizzica & Marco Tonello, 2014. "Exploring flows to tax havens through means of a gravity model: evidence from Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 236, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    16. Hsun Chu, 2014. "Tax Enforcement Policy and the Provision of Public Goods with the Presence of Tax Havens," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 61(3), pages 304-321, July.
    17. 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.
    18. Mohammed Mardan, 2019. "Tax Systems and Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 7940, CESifo.
    19. Thomas A. Gresik & Kai A. Konrad, 2017. "Tax Havens, Accounting Experts, and Fee-Setting Rules," CESifo Working Paper Series 6774, CESifo.
    20. Hsun Chu & Ching-Chong Lai & Chu-Chuan Cheng, 2015. "Tax Havens, Growth, and Welfare," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(6), pages 802-823, December.
    21. Leonce Ndikumana, 2014. "International Tax Cooperation and Implications of Globalization," CDP Background Papers 024, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax haven; Secrecy; Tax information exchange; China; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:kap:jeczfn:v:127:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s00712-018-0636-y. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.