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The Effect of Tax Treaties on Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Microdata

  • Davies, Ronald B.


    (University of Oregon)

  • Norbäck, Pehr-Johan


    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Tekin-Koru, Ayça


    (Oregon State University)

This paper uses affiliate level data from Swedish multinationals to examine the impact of tax treaties on both overall affiliate sales and the composition of those sales. In line with previous results, we find little evidence for an effect of treaties on the level of total sales. We do, however, find that a tax treaty increases the probability of investment by a firm in a given country. In addition, we find that a treaty reduces exports to the parent but increases imports of intermediate inputs from the parent. This is consistent with treaties increasing the effective host tax. This suggests that tax treaties impact the behavior of multinationals along some dimensions but not along others.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 833.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 19 May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0833
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  1. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00176051 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2006. "The impact of endogenous tax treaties on foreign direct investment: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 901-931, August.
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  4. Desbordes, Rodolphe & Vicard, Vincent, 2009. "Foreign direct investment and bilateral investment treaties: An international political perspective," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 372-386, September.
  5. Ronald B. Davies, 2004. "Tax Treaties and Foreign Direct Investment: Potential versus Performance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(6), pages 775-802, November.
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  9. Hanson, G.H., 1999. "`Market Potential, Increasing Returns, and Geographic Concentration," Working Papers 439, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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  14. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies, 2001. "The Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on U.S. FDI Activity," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2001-14, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Jan 2001.
  15. Céline Azémar & Rodolphe Desbordes & Jean-Louis Mucchielli, 2007. "Do tax sparing agreements contribute to the attraction of FDI in developing countries?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(5), pages 543-562, October.
  16. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Davies, Ronald B. & Waddell, Glen R. & Naughton, Helen T., 2007. "FDI in space: Spatial autoregressive relationships in foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1303-1325, July.
  17. Bruce Blonigen, 2005. "A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 33(4), pages 383-403, December.
  18. Eckhard Janeba, 1993. "Foreign Direct Investment under Oligopoly: Profit Shifting of Profit Capturing?," Discussion Paper Serie A 420, University of Bonn, Germany.
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  21. Michael Keen & Jenny Ligthart, 2006. "Incentives and Information Exchange in International Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(2), pages 163-180, May.
  22. Julian di Giovanni & Contact:, 2003. "What Drives Capital Flows? The Case of Cross-Border M&A Activity and Financial Deepening," International Trade 0303002, EconWPA.
  23. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2007. "Estimating models of complex FDI: Are there third-country effects?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 260-281, September.
  24. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
  25. Daniel Millimet & Abdullah Kumas, 2007. "Reassessing the Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on US FDI Activity," Departmental Working Papers 0704, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  26. Rosanne Altshuler & Harry Grubert & T. Scott Newlon, 1998. "Has U.S. Investment Abroad Become More Sensitive to Tax Rates?," NBER Working Papers 6383, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. James R. Hines Jr., 1992. "Credit and Deferral as International Investment Incentives," NBER Working Papers 4191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Davies, Ronald B., 2003. "Tax Treaties, Renegotiations, and Foreign Direct Investment," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 251-273, September.
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  30. Blonigen, Bruce A, 1997. "Firm-Specific Assets and the Link between Exchange Rates and Foreign Direct Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 447-65, June.
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