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Quality versus Quantity – The Composition Effect of Corporate Taxation on Foreign Direct Investment

  • Johannes Becker
  • Clemens Fuest

This paper studies corporate taxation in a model where foreign investment of firms may affect the profitability of the investor firm’s domestic activities. In this framework, corporate taxes distort the quality, not just the quantity of foreign direct investment flows. High-tax countries may see their tax revenues decrease in response to inbound foreign direct investment. Our results also imply that empirical studies on international profit shifting may overestimate the role of profit shifting. Observed profitability differences between high and low tax countries may be due to project selection. Empirical evidence in support of the main hypotheses is provided using aggregate investment and tax revenue data from a sample of OECD countries.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2126.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2126
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  1. Hines, J.R. & Rice, E.M., 1990. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens And American Business," Papers 56, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  2. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc & Nicodème, Gaëtan, 2006. "Capital Structure and International Debt Shifting," CEPR Discussion Papers 5882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
  4. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Domestic Capital Stock," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 33-38, May.
  5. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Jack Mintz, 2003. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 956, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
  7. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Foreign Direct Investment and Domestic Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 11717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd & Mintz, Jack, 2005. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 1(1), pages 1-62, December.
  9. Huizinga, Harry & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 1997. "Capital income and profit taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 149-165, February.
  10. Barba Navaretti, Giorgio & Castellani, Davide, 2004. "Investments Abroad and Performance at Home: Evidence from Italian Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 4284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Gregor Andrade & Mark Mitchell & Erik Stafford, 2001. "New Evidence and Perspectives on Mergers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 103-120, Spring.
  12. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  13. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2007. "International Profit Shifting within European Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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