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The Effect of Tax Treaties on Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Microdata

  • Ronald B Davies


    (University of Oregon)

  • Pehr-Johan Norbäck


    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Ayça Tekin-Koru


    (Oregon State University)

This paper uses affiliate level data from Swedish multinationals to examine the impact of tax treaties on both overall affiliate sales and the composition of those sales. In line with previous results, we find little evidence for an effect of treaties on the level of total sales. We do, however, find that a tax treaty increases the probability of investment by a firm in a given country. In addition, we find that a treaty reduces exports to the parent but increases imports of intermediate inputs from the parent. This is consistent with treaties increasing the effective host tax. This suggests that tax treaties impact the behavior of multinationals along some dimensions but not along others.

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Paper provided by Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation in its series Working Papers with number 0721.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:0721
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  1. Hanson, G.H., 1999. "`Market Potential, Increasing Returns, and Geographic Concentration," Working Papers 439, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  2. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Davies, Ronald B. & Waddell, Glen R. & Naughton, Helen T., 2007. "FDI in space: Spatial autoregressive relationships in foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1303-1325, July.
  3. 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.
  4. di Giovanni, Julian, 2002. "What Drives Capital Flows? The Case of Cross-Border M&A Activity and Financial Deepening," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt7nq6d7wp, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Jim Markusen & Caroline Ekholm, Rikard Forslid, 2005. "Export-Platform Foreign Direct Investment," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp050, IIIS.
  6. 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.
  7. Céline Azémar & Rodolphe Desbordes & Jean-Louis Mucchielli, 2004. "Do tax sparing agreements contribute to the attraction of FDI in developing countries ?," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques bla04047, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  8. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2007. "Estimating models of complex FDI: Are there third-country effects?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 260-281, September.
  9. Daniel Millimet & Abdullah Kumas, 2007. "Reassessing the Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on US FDI Activity," Departmental Working Papers 0704, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  10. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 959-972, November.
  11. Eckhard Janeba, 1993. "Foreign Direct Investment under Oligopoly: Profit Shifting of Profit Capturing?," Discussion Paper Serie A 420, University of Bonn, Germany.
  12. Rosanne Altshuler & Harry Grubert & T. Scott Newlon, 2000. "Has U.S. Investment Abroad Become More Sensitive to Tax Rates?," NBER Chapters, in: International Taxation and Multinational Activity, pages 9-38 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Rodolphe Desbordes & Vincent Vicard, 2007. "Foreign Direct Investment and Bilateral Investment Treaties an International Political Perspective," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne bla07045, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  14. Bruce A. Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," NBER Working Papers 11299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kelly Edmiston & Shannon Mudd & Neven Valev, 2003. "Tax Structures and FDI: The Deterrent Effects of Complexity and Uncertainty," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 341-359, September.
  16. Ronald B. Davies, 2003. "Tax Treaties, Renegotiations, and Foreign Direct Investment," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2003-14, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 10 Jun 2003.
  17. James R. Hines Jr., 1992. "Credit and Deferral as International Investment Incentives," NBER Working Papers 4191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Keen, M. & Ligthart, J.E., 2004. "Incentives and Information Exchange in International Taxation," Discussion Paper 2004-54, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  19. Roger H. Gordon & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "International Taxation," NBER Working Papers 8854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. Norback, Pehr-Johan, 2001. "Multinational firms, technology and location," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 449-469, August.
  22. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
  23. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2003. "Tax-motivated transfer pricing and US intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2207-2223, September.
  24. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies, 2000. "The Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on U.S. FDI Activity," NBER Working Papers 7929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Blonigen, Bruce A, 1997. "Firm-Specific Assets and the Link between Exchange Rates and Foreign Direct Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 447-65, June.
  26. Thomas A. Gresik, 2001. "The Taxing Task of Taxing Transnationals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 800-838, September.
  27. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00176051 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Jack Mintz, 2003. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 956, CESifo Group Munich.
  29. Henry Louie & Donald Rousslang, 2008. "Host-country governance, tax treaties and US direct investment abroad," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(3), pages 256-273, June.
  30. Vibhas Madan, 2000. "Transfer prices and the structure of intra-firm trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 53-68, February.
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