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Evaluating Tax Policy for Location Decisions

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  • Devereux, Michael P.
  • Griffith, Rachel

Abstract

We consider the impact of taxation when investors face a discrete choice between two or more mutually exclusive projects; in particular we consider the location choice of multinationals. Such choices depend on an effective average tax rate. We propose a precise measure of this rate, which is shown to be equal to a weighted average of an effective marginal tax rate and an adjusted statutory tax rate, where the weights depend on the profitability of the investment. Estimates of the distribution of this measure are presented and compared for domestic and international investment in the USA, France, Germany, and the UK. We analyse the impact of harmonising corporate tax rates in Europe on incentives to locate in France, Germany and the UK.

Suggested Citation

  • Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 2002. "Evaluating Tax Policy for Location Decisions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3247, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3247
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Devereux, Michael P. & Pearson, Mark, 1995. "European tax harmonisation and production efficiency," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1657-1681, December.
    2. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 1998. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 335-367, June.
    3. Julie Collins & Douglas Shackelford, 1995. "Corporate domicile and average effective tax rates: The cases of Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(1), pages 55-83, February.
    4. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
    5. European Commission, 2001. "Company Taxation in the Internal Market," Taxation Studies 0005, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    6. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
    7. Don Fullerton, 1983. "Which Effective Tax Rate?," NBER Working Papers 1123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
    9. J. S. S. Edwards & M. J. Keen, 1984. "Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital: A Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(1), pages 211-214.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    investment; location choice; tax coordination; tax policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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