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Empirical Evidenceon the Effects of Tax Incentives

  • Alexander Klemm
  • Stefan van Parys

This paper considers two empirical questions about tax incentives: (1) are incentives used as tools of tax competition and (2) how effective are incentives in attracting investment? To answer these, we prepared a new dataset of tax incentives in over 40 Latin American, Caribbean and African countries for the period 1985–2004. Using spatial econometrics techniques for panel data to answer the first question, we find evidence for strategic interaction in tax holidays, in addition to the well-known competition over the corporate income tax rate. We find no evidence, however, for competition over investment allowances and tax credits. Using dynamic panel data econometrics to answer the second question, we find evidence that lower corporate income tax rates and longer tax holidays are effective in attracting FDI, but not in boosting gross private fixed capital formation or growth.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 09/136.

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Length: 25
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/136
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  1. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  2. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. Ruud de Mooij & S. Ederveen, 2001. "Taxation and foreign direct investment; a synthesis of empirical research," CPB Discussion Paper 3, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Zee, Howell H. & Stotsky, Janet G. & Ley, Eduardo, 2002. "Tax Incentives for Business Investment: A Primer for Policy Makers in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1497-1516, September.
  5. Bondonio, Daniele & Greenbaum, Robert T., 2007. "Do local tax incentives affect economic growth? What mean impacts miss in the analysis of enterprise zone policies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-136, January.
  6. Bloom, Nick & Griffith, Rachel & Van Reenen, John, 2002. "Do R&D tax credits work? Evidence from a panel of countries 1979-1997," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 1-31, July.
  7. Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 2000. "Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Alexander Klemm, 2010. "Causes, benefits, and risks of business tax incentives," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 315-336, June.
  10. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  11. Durham, J.B.J. Benson, 2004. "Absorptive capacity and the effects of foreign direct investment and equity foreign portfolio investment on economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 285-306, April.
  12. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  13. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  14. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  15. Badi H. Baltagi & Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2005. "Estimating Models of Complex FDI: Are There Third-Country Effects?," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 73, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  16. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
  17. Rosanne Altshuler & Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2002. "Follow the Leader? Evidence on European and U.S. Tax Competition," Departmental Working Papers 200226, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  18. Hassett, Kevin A. & Hubbard, R. Glenn, 2002. "Tax policy and business investment," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 20, pages 1293-1343 Elsevier.
  19. Swenson, Deborah L., 1994. "The impact of U.S. tax reform on foreign direct investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 243-266, June.
  20. Mario Mansour & Michael Keen, 2009. "Revenue Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges From Globalization," IMF Working Papers 09/157, International Monetary Fund.
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