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Tax Competition and Foreign Direct Investment: assessing the role of market potential and trade costs in a "Footloose Capital" framework

  • Vincent Delbecque

This paper investigates the impact of the corporate income tax on the geographical distribution of French firms Foreign Direct Investment port- folio across 26 European countries. The empirical assessment is based on Baldwin (1999) new economic geography model in which we focus on the location of firms with respect to level of taxation. In this model, the magnitude of the impact of taxation on location decision partly depends on the market size and the level of trade costs. Indeed, firms may not only seek lower production costs but better market access and market opportunity when investing abroad. Through panel data regressions, we find a negative impact of the corporate income tax rate on Foreign Direct Investment. We also find that trade costs between source and host coun- try increases Foreign Direct Investment. In advanced specifications we show that increasing trade costs reduce the impact of tax level on capital location.

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Paper provided by University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX in its series EconomiX Working Papers with number 2008-18.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2008-18
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  1. 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.
  2. Richard E. Baldwin, 1998. "Agglomeration and Endogenous Capital," NBER Working Papers 6459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J, 1994. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 1015, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith, 1996. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," IFS Working Papers W96/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  8. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 959-972, November.
  9. Javorcik, Beata & Spatareanu, Mariana, 2005. "Do Foreign Investors Care About Labour Market Regulations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Anthony J. Venables, 1993. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0137, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Head, C. Keith & Ries, John C. & Swenson, Deborah L., 1999. "Attracting foreign manufacturing: Investment promotion and agglomeration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 197-218, March.
  12. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  13. Fredrik Andersson & Rikard Forslid, 2000. "Tax Competition and Economic Geography," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1356, Econometric Society.
  14. Büttner, Thiess & Ruf, Martin, 2004. "Tax Incentives and the Location of FDI: Evidence from a Panel of German Multinationals," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-76, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  15. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  16. Clark, Kim B, 1984. "Unionization and Firm Performance: The Impact on Profits, Growth, and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 893-919, December.
  17. Markusen, James R & Maskus, Keith E, 2002. "Discriminating among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 694-707, November.
  18. Markusen, James R. & Morey, Edward R. & Olewiler, Nancy, 1995. "Competition in regional environmental policies when plant locations are endogenous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-77, January.
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