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

Author

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  • Johannes Becker
  • Clemens Fuest

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2007. "Quality versus Quantity – The Composition Effect of Corporate Taxation on Foreign Direct Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2126, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2126
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2126.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Huizinga, Harry & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 1997. "Capital income and profit taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 149-165.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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    9. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Jack Mintz, 2003. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 956, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2007. "International Profit Shifting within European Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Ernst & Katharina Richter & Nadine Riedel, 2013. "Corporate taxation and the quality of research & development," Working Papers 1301, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    2. Dischinger, Matthias, 2007. "Profit Shifting by Multinationals: Indirect Evidence from European Micro Data," Discussion Papers in Economics 2029, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Andreas Haufler & Frank Stähler, 2013. "Tax Competition In A Simple Model With Heterogeneous Firms: How Larger Markets Reduce Profit Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(2), pages 665-692, May.
    4. Alstadsaeter, Annette & Barrios, Salvador & Nicodème, Gaëtan & Skonieczna, Agnieszka Maria & Vezzani, Antonio, 2015. "Patent Boxes Design, Patents Location and Local R&D," CEPR Discussion Papers 10679, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Dischinger, Matthias, 2008. "Profit Shifting by Multinationals and the Ownership Share: Evidence from European Micro Data," Discussion Papers in Economics 5661, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Ortmann, Regina & Pummerer, Erich, 2015. "Formula apportionment or separate accounting? Tax-induced distortions of multinationals' locational investment decisions," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 198, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    7. Dischinger, Matthias, 2010. "Multinational Enterprises and Corporate Taxation," Munich Dissertations in Economics 11147, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    8. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2007. "Corporate Tax Policy and International Mergers and Acquisitions – Is the Tax Exemption System Superior?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1884, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Christof Ernst & Katharina Richter & Nadine Riedel, 2014. "Corporate taxation and the quality of research and development," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(4), pages 694-719, August.
    10. Hristu-Varsakelis, Dimitrios & Karagianni, Stella & Saraidaris, Anastasios, 2011. "Equilibrium conditions in corporate tax competition and Foreign Direct Investment flows," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 13-21.
    11. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2008. "Tax Competition – Greenfield Investment versus Mergers and Acquisitions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2247, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Griffith, Rachel & Miller, Helen & O'Connell, Martin, 2014. "Ownership of intellectual property and corporate taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 12-23.
    13. Becker, Johannes & Fuest, Clemens & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Corporate tax effects on the quality and quantity of FDI," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 1495-1511.
    14. Sandro Montresor & Francesco Quatraro, 2015. "Key Enabling Technologies and Smart Specialization Strategies. European Regional Evidence from patent data," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2015-05, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    15. Matthias Dischinger & Nadine Riedel, 2009. "There's no Place like Home: The Profitability Gap between Headquarters and their Foreign Subsidiaries," CESifo Working Paper Series 2866, CESifo Group Munich.

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