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Tax Effects on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: Evidence from a Cross-Country Comparison

In: Taxation in the Global Economy

  • Joel B. Slemrod

This paper investigates how the tax system of the U.S. and the capital-exporting country combine to affect the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the U.S. First, using aggregate data, it corroborates earlier work suggesting that the U.S. effective tax rate does influence the amount of FDI financed by transfers of funds, but not the amount financed by retained earnings. The data are then disaggregated by major capital-exporting countries to see if, as theory would suggest, FDI from countries which exempt foreign-source income from taxation is more sensitive to U.S. tax rates than FDI from countries which attempt to tax foreign-source income. The data analysis does not reveal a clear differential responsiveness between these two groups of countries, suggesting either difficulties in accurately measuring effective tax rates or the availability of financial strategies which render the home country tax system immaterial in affecting the return on FDI.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Assaf Razin & Joel Slemrod, 1990. "Taxation in the Global Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number razi90-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 7206.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7206
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Don Fullerton & Marios Karayannis, 1987. "The Taxation of Income from Capital in the United States, 1980-86," NBER Working Papers 2478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Martin Feldstein, 1980. "Inflation, Tax Rules, and Investment: Some Econometric Evidence," NBER Working Papers 0577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Young, Kan H., 1988. "The Effects of Taxes and Rates of Return on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 109-21, March.
    4. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines Jr., 1988. "Investment Tax Incentives and Frequent Tax Reforms," NBER Working Papers 2492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michael J. Boskin & William G. Gale, 1986. "New Results on the Effects of Tax Policy on the International Location of Investment," NBER Working Papers 1862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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