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Capital Mobility, Agglomeration and Corporate Tax Rates: Is the Race to the Bottom for Real?

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  • Harry Garretsen
  • Jolanda Peeters

Abstract

Based on a data set for 19 OECD countries for the period 1981-2001, we estimate the impact of capital mobility (FDI) on corporate tax rates. So far the literature has been concerned with the related but rather different question as to the sensitivity of FDI to tax rates. Our paper takes an opposite perspective and asks what the impact of capital mobility is on corporate tax rates. In doing so, we explicitly take the role of agglomeration into account. In theory, core countries can afford a higher tax rate compared to peripheral countries. In our estimation strategy, we instrument capital mobility to deal with reverse causality. The main conclusion isthat increased international capital mobility implies a lower corporate tax rate. But we also find that agglomeration matters: core countries have a higher corporate tax rate. If there is a race to the bottom, it seems that it is more real for some countries than others.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry Garretsen & Jolanda Peeters, 2006. "Capital Mobility, Agglomeration and Corporate Tax Rates: Is the Race to the Bottom for Real?," DNB Working Papers 113, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:113
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brakman, Steven & Garretsen, Harry & Schramm, Marc, 2006. "Putting new economic geography to the test: Free-ness of trade and agglomeration in the EU regions," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 613-635, September.
    2. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
    3. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2004. "The empirics of agglomeration and trade," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 59, pages 2609-2669 Elsevier.
    4. Ludema, Rodney D. & Wooton, Ian, 2000. "Economic geography and the fiscal effects of regional integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 331-357, December.
    5. Assaf Razin & Yona Rubinstein & Efraim Sadka, 2005. "Corporate Taxation and Bilateral FDI with Threshold Barriers," NBER Working Papers 11196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, January.
    7. repec:dgr:rugccs:200502 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Anthony J. Venables, 2006. "Multinational Firms in the World Economy," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 7832.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Seven Fun Facts About Corporate Taxes
      by Justin Fox in HBR Blog Network on 2013-05-23 23:28:15

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ronald B. Davies & Johannes Voget, 2008. "Tax competition in an expanding European Union," Working Papers 200904, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    2. Vito Polito, 2012. "Up or Down? Capital Income Taxation in the United States and the United Kingdom," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 68(1), pages 48-82, March.
    3. Karen Crabbé & Karolien De Bruyne, 2013. "Taxes, Agglomeration Rents and Location Decisions of Firms," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(4), pages 421-446, December.
    4. Hany Eldemerdash & Hugh Metcalf & Sara Maioli, 2014. "Twin deficits: new evidence from a developing (oil vs. non-oil) countries’ perspective," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 825-851, November.
    5. Harry Garretsen & Jolanda Peeters, 2009. "FDI and the relevance of spatial linkages: do third-country effects matter for Dutch FDI?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(2), pages 319-338, July.
    6. Brülhart, Marius, 2014. "Agglomeration economies, taxable rents, and government capture: evidence from a place-based policy," Papers 835, World Trade Institute.
    7. Karkalakos, Sotiris & Makris, Miltiadis, 2008. "Capital Tax Competition in the European Union: Theory and Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," MPRA Paper 21437, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    8. Peter Egger & Horst Raff, 2015. "Tax rate and tax base competition for foreign direct investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 777-810, October.
    9. Sijbren Cnossen, 2016. "Tackling Spillovers by Taxing Corporate Income in the European Union at Source," CESifo Working Paper Series 5790, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Michael P. Devereux & Simon Loretz, 2013. "What Do We Know About Corporate Tax Competition?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 66(3), pages 745-774, September.
    11. Florence TOUYA, 2016. "EU tax competition and tax avoidance: A multiprincipal perspective," Working Papers 2015-2016_11, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Aug 2016.
    12. Markus Leibrecht & Claudia Hochgatterer, 2012. "Tax Competition As A Cause Of Falling Corporate Income Tax Rates: A Survey Of Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 616-648, September.
    13. Mauro Ghinamo & Paolo Panteghini & Federico Revelli, 2010. "FDI determination and corporate tax competition in a volatile world," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(5), pages 532-555, October.
    14. Fathi Ali & Norbert Fiess & Ronald Macdonald, 2011. "Climbing To The Top? Foreign Direct Investment And Property Rights," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(1), pages 289-302, January.
    15. Ozlem Onaran & Valerie Boesch & Markus Leibrecht, 2012. "How Does Globalization Affect The Implicit Tax Rates On Labor Income, Capital Income, And Consumption In The European Union?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(4), pages 880-904, October.
    16. Sijbren Cnossen, 2016. "Tackling Spillovers by Taxing Corporate Income in the European Union at Source," CPB Discussion Paper 324, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    17. Marcin Piatkowski & Mariusz Jarmuzek, 2008. "Zero Corporate Income Tax in Moldova; Tax Competition and Its Implications for Eastern Europe," IMF Working Papers 08/203, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Florence TOUYA, 2016. "Horizontal and Vertical Tax Interactions in a Common Agency Game," Working Papers 2015-2016_12, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Aug 2016.
    19. Andreas Haufler & Alexander Klemm & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2009. "Economic integration and the relationship between profit and wage taxes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 423-446, March.
    20. Nelly Exbrayat, 2008. "The Impact of Trade Integration and Agglomeration Economies on Tax Interactions : Evidence from OECD Countries," Post-Print hal-00270067, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    new economic geography; corporate income taxation; capital mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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