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A Journey from a Corruption Port to a Tax Haven

  • Shafik Hebous
  • Vilen Lipatov

We sketch a model according to which tax havens attract corporate income generated in corrupted countries. In our framework, tax havens have two opposite effects on welfare. First, tax havens’ services have a positive effect on welfare through encouraging investment by firms fearing expropriation and bribes in corrupt countries. Second, by supporting corruption and the concealment of officials’ bribes, tax havens discourage the provision of public goods and hence have also a negative effect on welfare. The net welfare effect depends on the specified preferences and parameters. One source of this ambiguity is that the presence of multinational firms in corrupted countries is positively associated with demanding tax havens’ operations. Using firm-level data, we provide empirical support for this hypothesis.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-10/cesifo1_wp3620.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3620.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3620
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  1. Shafik Hebous, 2011. "Money at the Docks of Tax Havens: A Guide," CESifo Working Paper Series 3587, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Dhammika Dharmapala & James R. Hines Jr., 2006. "Which Countries Become Tax Havens?," NBER Working Papers 12802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2005. "Offshore financial centers: parasites or symbionts?," Working Paper Series 2005-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Gumpert, Anna & Hines Jr., James R. & Schnitzer, Monika, 2012. "The use of tax havens in exemption regimes," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 381, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. Hong, Qing & Smart, Michael, 2010. "In praise of tax havens: International tax planning and foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 82-95, January.
  6. Kesternich, Iris & Schnitzer, Monika, 2007. "Who is Afraid of Political Risk? Multinational Firms and their Choice of Capital Structure," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 213, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  7. Slemrod, Joel, 2010. "Location, (Real) Location, (Tax) Location: An Essay On Mobility’S Place In Optimal Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 63(4), pages 843-64, December.
  8. Johannesen, Niels, 2010. "Imperfect tax competition for profits, asymmetric equilibrium and beneficial tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 253-264, July.
  9. Sebastian Krautheim & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2009. "Heterogeneous firms, "Profit Shifting" FDI and international tax competition," Post-Print halshs-00442818, HAL.
  10. Dhammika Dharmapala, 2008. "What Problems and Opportunities are Created by Tax Havens?," Working Papers 0820, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  11. Becker, Johannes & Fuest, Clemens, 2007. "Tax Enforcement and Tax Havens under Formula Apportionment," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 07-8, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.
  12. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-92, September.
  13. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2010. "The worldwide governance indicators : methodology and analytical issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5430, The World Bank.
  14. Konrad, Kai A. & Erik Lommerud, Kjell, 2001. "Foreign direct investment, intra-firm trade and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 475-494, March.
  15. Fisman, Raymond & Svensson, Jakob, 2007. "Are corruption and taxation really harmful to growth? Firm level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 63-75, May.
  16. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-60, October.
  17. Slemrod, Joel & Wilson, John D., 2009. "Tax competition with parasitic tax havens," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1261-1270, December.
  18. J. C. Sharman, 2010. "Shopping for Anonymous Shell Companies: An Audit Study of Anonymity and Crime in the International Financial System," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 127-40, Fall.
  19. Johannesen, Niels, 2012. "Optimal fiscal barriers to international economic integration in the presence of tax havens," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 400-416.
  20. Clemens Fuest & Nadine Riedel, 2010. "Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance in Developing Countries: The Role of International Profit Shifting," Working Papers 1012, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  21. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "The demand for tax haven operations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 513-531, February.
  22. Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
  23. James R. Hines, 2010. "Treasure Islands," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 103-26, Fall.
  24. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  25. Giorgia Maffini, 2009. "Tax Haven Activities and the Tax Liabilities of Multinational Groups," Working Papers 0925, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  26. Mintz, Jack M. & Weichenrieder, Alfons J., 2010. "The Indirect Side of Direct Investment: Multinational Company Finance and Taxation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262014491, June.
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