IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/jecfin/v42y2018i3d10.1007_s12197-017-9400-3.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Reassessing the effects of bilateral tax treaties on US FDI activity

Author

Listed:
  • Abdullah Kumas

    (University of Richmond)

  • Daniel L. Millimet

    (Southern Methodist University)

Abstract

Despite substantial evidence that foreign direct investment (FDI) is influenced by taxation, the impact of bilateral tax treaties on FDI is surprisingly unclear. We provide a simple theoretical framework illustrating why the impact of tax treaties may be heterogeneous across the distribution of FDI, and thus why focusing on the average effect of tax treaties may be misleading. We then assess the empirical relevance of such heterogeneity by estimating the quantile treatment effects of tax treaties on US inbound and outbound FDI using panel data from 1980–1999. Our results are striking, and consistent with our expectations. We obtain positive effects of tax treaties at lower quantiles of the distribution of FDI, but negative effects in the upper quantiles. Moreover, while the negative effects are substantially larger in absolute terms relative to the positive effects, the two effects are roughly equivalent in percentage terms.

Suggested Citation

  • Abdullah Kumas & Daniel L. Millimet, 2018. "Reassessing the effects of bilateral tax treaties on US FDI activity," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 42(3), pages 451-470, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jecfin:v:42:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s12197-017-9400-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s12197-017-9400-3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s12197-017-9400-3
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s12197-017-9400-3?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
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stein, Ernesto & Daude, Christian, 2007. "Longitude matters: Time zones and the location of foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 96-112, March.
    2. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Keith Head, 2003. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 980-994, June.
    3. Ronald B. Davies, 2003. "The OECD Model Tax Treaty: Tax Competition And Two-Way Capital Flows," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 725-753, May.
    4. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "What Mean Impacts Miss: Distributional Effects of Welfare Reform Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 988-1012, September.
    5. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2021. "Estimating The Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 5, pages 95-110, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Ronald B. Davies & Pehr‐Johan Norbäck & Ayça Tekin‐Koru, 2009. "The Effect of Tax Treaties on Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Microdata," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 77-110, January.
    7. Chisik, Richard & Davies, Ronald B., 2004. "Asymmetric FDI and tax-treaty bargaining: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1119-1148, June.
    8. Davies, Ronald B & Gresik, Thomas A, 2003. "Tax Competition and Foreign Capital," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(2), pages 127-145, March.
    9. Sergio Firpo, 2007. "Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 259-276, January.
    10. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, December.
    11. Ronald B. Davies, 2004. "Tax Treaties and Foreign Direct Investment: Potential versus Performance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(6), pages 775-802, November.
    12. Janeba, Eckhard, 1995. "Corporate income tax competition, double taxation treaties, and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 311-325, February.
    13. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Multinational Firms: Reconciling Theory and Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey, pages 71-98, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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..
    15. Gordon, Roger H. & Hines, James Jr, 2002. "International taxation," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 28, pages 1935-1995, Elsevier.
    16. Matthew A. Cole & Robert J. R. Elliott & Per G. Fredriksson, 2006. "Endogenous Pollution Havens: Does FDI Influence Environmental Regulations?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 157-178, March.
    17. Thomas A. Gresik, 2001. "The Taxing Task of Taxing Transnationals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 800-838, September.
    18. Sinn, H.W., 1990. "Taxation And The Birth Of Foreign Subsidiaries," Papers 66, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
    19. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Nancy Clements, 1997. "Making The Most Out Of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting For Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535.
    20. Davies, Ronald B., 2003. "Tax Treaties, Renegotiations, and Foreign Direct Investment," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 251-273, September.
    21. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2006. "The impact of endogenous tax treaties on foreign direct investment: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 901-931, August.
    22. Mutti, John & Grubert, Harry, 2004. "Empirical asymmetries in foreign direct investment and taxation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 337-358, March.
    23. Abdullah Kumas & Daniel L. Millimet, 2018. "Reassessing the effects of bilateral tax treaties on US FDI activity," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 42(3), pages 451-470, July.
    24. de Mooij, Ruud A & Ederveen, Sjef, 2003. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(6), pages 673-693, November.
    25. Laporte, Audrey & Windmeijer, Frank, 2005. "Estimation of panel data models with binary indicators when treatment effects are not constant over time," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 389-396, September.
    26. Richard Chisik & Ronald B. Davies, 2004. "Gradualism In Tax Treaties With Irreversible Foreign Direct Investment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(1), pages 113-139, February.
    27. Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2004. "The impact of bilateral investment treaties on foreign direct investment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 788-804, December.
    28. Blomstrom, Magnus & Goldberg, Linda S. (ed.), 2001. "Topics in Empirical International Economics," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226060835.
    29. 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.
    30. di Giovanni, Julian, 2005. "What drives capital flows? The case of cross-border M&A activity and financial deepening," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 127-149, January.
    31. Magnus Blomstrom & Linda S. Goldberg, 2001. "Topics in Empirical International Economics: A Festschrift in Honor of Robert E. Lipsey," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blom01-1, July.
    32. Chakrabarti, Avik, 2001. "The Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment: Sensitivity Analyses of Cross-Country Regressions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 89-113.
    33. Bruce Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 383-403, December.
    34. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097, Elsevier.
    35. Abadie A., 2002. "Bootstrap Tests for Distributional Treatment Effects in Instrumental Variable Models," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 284-292, March.
    36. Mary Hallward-Driemeier, 2003. "Do bilateral investment treaties attract foreign direct investment? Only a bit - and they could bite," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3121, The World Bank.
    37. Harry Grubert, 2003. "The Tax Burden on Cross-Border Investment: Company Strategies and Country Responses," CESifo Working Paper Series 964, CESifo.
    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. Abdullah Kumas & Daniel L. Millimet, 2018. "Reassessing the effects of bilateral tax treaties on US FDI activity," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 42(3), pages 451-470, July.
    2. Zagler, Martin, 2023. "Foreign direct investment, legal uncertainty and corporate income taxation," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 19-28.
    3. Ronald B. Davies & Pehr‐Johan Norbäck & Ayça Tekin‐Koru, 2009. "The Effect of Tax Treaties on Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Microdata," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 77-110, January.
    4. Castillo-Murciego, Ángela & López-Laborda, Julio, 2019. "The effect of double taxation treaties and territorial tax systems on foreign direct investment: Evidence for Spain," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 13, pages 1-33.
    5. Leibrecht, Markus & Rixen, Thomas, 2020. "Double Tax Avoidance and Tax Competition for Mobile Capital," SocArXiv dgw5k, Center for Open Science.
    6. Mário MARQUES & Carlos PINHO, 2014. "Effects of Corporate Taxation and Bilateral Tax Treaties on European Multinationals’ Investment, 2005-2009. A Multi-Country Analysis," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(1), pages 33-44.
    7. Lee, Siwook & Kim, Daeyong, 2022. "The impact of tax treaties on foreign direct investment: The evidence reconsidered," KDI Journal of Economic Policy, Korea Development Institute (KDI), vol. 44(3), pages 27-48.
    8. West, Ashley & Wilkinson, Brett, 2024. "What do we know about tax treaties and how can accounting research contribute?," Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    9. Harendt, Christoph & Dreßler, Daniel & Overesch, Michael, 2016. "The Impact of Tax Treaties and Repatriation Taxes on FDI Revisited," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145588, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Joseph Daniels & Patrick O’Brien & Marc Ruhr, 2015. "Bilateral tax treaties and US foreign direct investment financing modes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(6), pages 999-1027, December.

    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. Maria Borga & Perla Ibarlucea Flores & Monika Sztajerowska, 2020. "Drivers of divestment decisions of multinational enterprises - A cross-country firm-level perspective," OECD Working Papers on International Investment 2019/03, OECD Publishing.
    2. West, Ashley & Wilkinson, Brett, 2024. "What do we know about tax treaties and how can accounting research contribute?," Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    3. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2006. "The impact of endogenous tax treaties on foreign direct investment: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 39(3), pages 901-931, August.
    4. Ronald B. Davies & Pehr‐Johan Norbäck & Ayça Tekin‐Koru, 2009. "The Effect of Tax Treaties on Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Microdata," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 77-110, January.
    5. Peter Egger & Simon Loretz & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2006. "Corporate Taxation and Multinational Activity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1773, CESifo.
    6. Chisik, Richard & Davies, Ronald B., 2004. "Asymmetric FDI and tax-treaty bargaining: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1119-1148, June.
    7. Becker, Sascha & Egger, Peter H & Merlo, Valeria, 2008. "How Low Business Tax Rates Attract Multinational Headquarters: Municipality-Level Evidence from Germany," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-30, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    8. Castillo-Murciego, Ángela & López-Laborda, Julio, 2019. "The effect of double taxation treaties and territorial tax systems on foreign direct investment: Evidence for Spain," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 13, pages 1-33.
    9. Joseph Daniels & Patrick O’Brien & Marc Ruhr, 2015. "Bilateral tax treaties and US foreign direct investment financing modes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(6), pages 999-1027, December.
    10. Becker, Sascha O. & Egger, Peter H. & Merlo, Valeria, 2012. "How low business tax rates attract MNE activity: Municipality-level evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 698-711.
    11. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies, 2002. "Do Bilateral Tax Treaties Promote Foreign Direct Investment?," NBER Working Papers 8834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Eicher, Theo S. & Helfman, Lindy & Lenkoski, Alex, 2012. "Robust FDI determinants: Bayesian Model Averaging in the presence of selection bias," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 637-651.
    13. Harendt, Christoph & Dreßler, Daniel & Overesch, Michael, 2016. "The Impact of Tax Treaties and Repatriation Taxes on FDI Revisited," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145588, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Michael Overesch & Georg Wamser, 2009. "Who Cares About Corporate Taxation? Asymmetric Tax Effects on Outbound FDI," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(12), pages 1657-1684, December.
    15. Arjan Lejour, 2014. "The Foreign Investment Effects of Tax Treaties," Working Papers 1403, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    16. 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..
    17. Arjan Lejour, 2014. "The Foreign Investment Effects of Tax Treaties," Working Papers 1403, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    18. Bruce Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 383-403, December.
    19. Eric Neumayer, 2007. "Do double taxation treaties increase foreign direct investment to developing countries?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(8), pages 1501-1519.
    20. Leibrecht, Markus & Rixen, Thomas, 2020. "Double Tax Avoidance and Tax Competition for Mobile Capital," SocArXiv dgw5k, Center for Open Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign direct investment; Tax treaties; Quantile treatment effects; Propensity score weighting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

    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:spr:jecfin:v:42:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s12197-017-9400-3. 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.