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Tax competition with heterogeneous capital mobility


  • Steeve Mongrain

    () (Simon Fraser University)

  • John D. Wilson

    () (Michigan State University)


In this paper, we look at corporate fiscal policies set by two competing regions in an environment where firms are heterogonous regarding to their mobility costs. We show that if regions are allow to tax domestic and foreign capital at different rates, they will offer a preferential treatment to foreign firms, even if mobility costs are symmetrically distributed across regions. Preventing such type of preferential treatment raises revenues for both regions, unless there exist a high density of firms with low moving costs. Because preferential tax treatment promotes firms movement for fiscal raisons, such tax regime always generates more social loss due to unnecessary delocalization. We also investigate the effect of heterogeneity among regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Steeve Mongrain & John D. Wilson, 2011. "Tax competition with heterogeneous capital mobility," Working Papers 2011/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/10/doc2011-25

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
    2. Janeba, Eckhard & Peters, Wolfgang, 1999. "Tax Evasion, Tax Competition and the Gains from Nondiscrimination: The Case of Interest Taxation in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 93-101, January.
    3. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2009. "Competition for FDI with vintage investment and agglomeration advantages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 230-237, November.
    4. Wildasin, David E. & Wilson, John Douglas, 1996. "Imperfect mobility and local government behaviour in an overlapping-generations model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 177-198, May.
    5. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
    6. Keen, Michael, 2001. "Preferential Regimes Can Make Tax Competition Less Harmful," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 4), pages 757-62, December.
    7. Hagen, K.P. & Osmundsen, P. & Schjelderup, G., 1995. "Internationally Mobile Firms and Tax Policy," Papers 8/95, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
    8. 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.
    9. Janeba, Eckhard & Smart, Michael, 2003. "Is Targeted Tax Competition Less Harmful Than Its Remedies?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(3), pages 259-280, May.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Krautheim & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2016. "Wages and International Tax Competition," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 893-923, November.
    2. Kaushal Kishore, 2016. "Dynamic Tax Competition, Home Bias and the Gain from Non-preferential Agreements," Working Papers 201676, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    3. John D. Wilson, 2015. "Tax Havens in a World of Competing Countries," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 32-29, 01.

    More about this item


    tax competition; capital; mobility; preferential and non-preferential tax regimes;

    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism


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