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Empirical Evidenceon the Effects of Tax Incentives

Listed author(s):
  • Alexander D 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
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:09/136
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  1. 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.
  2. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Richard Baldwin; Paul Krugman, 2001. "Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization," IHEID Working Papers 01-2001, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  6. Rosanne Altshuler & Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2015. "Follow the Leader? Evidence on European and US Tax Competition," Public Finance Review, SAGE Publishing, vol. 43(4), pages 485-504, July.
  7. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Alexander Klemm, 2010. "Causes, benefits, and risks of business tax incentives," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(3), pages 315-336, June.
  10. Mario Mansour & Michael Keen, 2009. "Revenue Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa; Challenges from Globalization," IMF Working Papers 09/157, International Monetary Fund.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. de Mooij, Ruud A & Ederveen, Sjef, 2003. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(6), pages 673-693, November.
  17. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons From Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 305-322, June.
  18. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  19. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
  20. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  21. repec:ntj:journl:v:52:y:1999:i:n._2:p:305-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. 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.
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