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Competition for FDI in the Presence of a Public Firm and the Effects of Privatization

  • O. Amerighi
  • G. De Feo

In this paper we investigate tax/subsidy competition for FDI between countries of different size when a welfare-maximizing and relatively inefficient public firm is the incumbent in the largest market. First, we analyze how the presence of a public firm affects the investment decision of a multinational operating in the same sector as the former and willing to serve both markets. When the public firm stops exporting to the small country due to the investment of the multinational in the region (or does not export altogether), policy competition between the two countries is irrelevant to the foreign firm’s choice. But if the country receiving FDI has to pay a subsidy, only the multinational will be better off provided that it would have invested there anyway absent policy competition. By contrast, when the public firm exports to the small country, policy competition increases the attractiveness of the big country. Second, we show that privatizing the public firm makes the big country a relatively more attractive location for the investment. However, when the privatized firm stays in the market, welfare always decreases. After privatization, policy competition decreases the attractiveness of the big country, which may be willing to tax the multinational in order to discourage FDI from taking place there, and gives the small country the opportunity of benefiting from the investment.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 605.

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Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:605
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  1. Haaland, Jan I & Wooton, Ian, 1999. " International Competition for Multinational Investment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 631-49, December.
  2. Haufler, Andreas & Wooton, Ian, 1999. "Country size and tax competition for foreign direct investment," Munich Reprints in Economics 20408, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  10. Kenneth Fjell & Debashis Pal, 1996. "A Mixed Oligopoly in the Presence of Foreign Private Firms," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(3), pages 737-43, August.
  11. Chi-Chur Chao & Eden S. H. Yu, 2006. "Partial Privatization, Foreign Competition, and Optimum Tariff," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 87-92, 02.
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  13. Bjorvatn, Kjetil & Eckel, Carsten, 2006. "Policy competition for foreign direct investment between asymmetric countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 20270, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. James R. Markusen & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Multinational Firms and The New Trade Theory," NBER Working Papers 5036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Ferrett, Ben & Wooton, Ian, 2005. "Competing for a Duopoly: International Trade and Tax Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 5379, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Debashis Pal & Mark D. White, 1998. "Mixed Oligopoly, Privatization, and Strategic Trade Policy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 264-281, October.
  18. Willner, Johan, 2001. "Ownership, efficiency, and political interference," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 723-748, November.
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  20. de Fraja, Giovanni & Delbono, Flavio, 1989. "Alternative Strategies of a Public Enterprise in Oligopoly," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 302-11, April.
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  23. repec:adr:anecst:y:2004:i:75-76 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Markusen, James R. & Morey, Edward R. & Olewiler, Nancy, 1995. "Competition in regional environmental policies when plant locations are endogenous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-77, January.
  25. Fjell, Kenneth & Heywood, John S, 2002. "Public Stackelberg Leadership in a Mixed Oligopoly with Foreign Firms," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 267-81, September.
  26. Villalonga, Belen, 2000. "Privatization and efficiency: differentiating ownership effects from political, organizational, and dynamic effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 43-74, May.
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