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Unionisation triggers tax incentives to attract foreign direct investment


  • Haufler, Andreas
  • Mittermaier, Ferdinand


This paper analyses tax competition between a unionised and a non-unionised country for the location of an outside firm. We show that unionisation offers an extra incentive for the government to attract a foreign competitor to a concentrated domestic market, in order to affect the behaviour of the domestic union. This results in the unionised country's government offering a tax discount (or a subsidy premium) to the outside firm in excess of what is needed to compensate the investor for the higher union wage. In equilibrium, therefore, the unionised country can attract the outside firm even if it has other location disadvantages, such as a smaller home market.

Suggested Citation

  • Haufler, Andreas & Mittermaier, Ferdinand, 2008. "Unionisation triggers tax incentives to attract foreign direct investment," Discussion Papers in Economics 3752, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:3752

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Haupt & Tim Krieger, 2009. "The role of mobility in tax and subsidy competition," Working Papers 2009/37, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:4:p:703-714 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Yuko Hashimoto & Konstantin M. Wacker, 2012. "The Role of Risk and Information for International Capital Flows: New Evidence from the SDDS," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 124, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    4. Yoshitomo Ogawa & Yoshiyasu Ono, 2016. "The Welfare Effects of Attracting Foreign Direct Investment in the Presence of Unemployment," ISER Discussion Paper 0959, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    5. Langenmayr, Dominika & Haufler, Andreas & Bauer, Christian J., 2015. "Should tax policy favor high- or low-productivity firms?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 18-34.
    6. Yuko Hashimoto & K. M. Wacker, 2016. "The role of information for international capital flows: new evidence from the SDDS," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(3), pages 529-557, August.
    7. Sebastian Krautheim & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2016. "Wages and International Tax Competition," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 893-923, November.
    8. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9409-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. MORITA Tadashi & SAWADA Yukiko & YAMAMOTO Kazuhiro, 2016. "Subsidy Competition, Imperfect Labor Market, and Endogenous Entry of Firms," Discussion papers 16096, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    10. Cardullo, Gabriele & Conti, Maurizio & Sulis, Giovanni, 2015. "Sunk capital, unions and the hold-up problem: Theory and evidence from cross-country sectoral data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 253-274.
    11. Silvia Rocha‐Akis & Ronnie Schöb, 2011. "Welfare Policy in the Presence of Unionised Labour and Internationally Mobile Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 93-119, March.
    12. MORITA Tadashi & OGAWA Yoshitomo & ONO Yoshiyasu, 2017. "Corporate Tax Competition in the Presence of Unemployment," Discussion papers 17118, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    13. Nelly Exbrayat & Benny Geys, 2014. "Trade integration and corporate income tax differentials," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(2), pages 298-323, April.
    14. repec:rss:jnljse:v2i3p3 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Mittermaier, Ferdinand & Rincke, Johannes, 2013. "Do countries compensate firms for international wage differentials?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-36.
    16. Johannes Becker & Andrea Schneider, 2014. "Bidding for Firms with Unknown Characteristics," CESifo Working Paper Series 4806, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Nelly Exbrayat & Benny Geys, 2011. "Trade Integration and Business Tax Differentials: Theory and Evidence from OECD Countries," Post-Print halshs-00617043, HAL.
    18. Nelly Exbrayat & Benny Geys, 2016. "Economic Integration, Corporate Tax Incidence and Fiscal Compensation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(11), pages 1792-1811, November.
    19. Hyun-Ju Koh & Ferdinand Mittermaier, 2009. "The winner gives it all: Unions, tax competition and offshoring," Working Papers 079, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    20. Tadashi Morita & Yukiko Sawada & Kazuhiro Yamamoto, 2017. "Subsidy competition, imperfect labor markets, and the endogenous entry of firms," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 17-07, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    21. Kaushal Kishore, 2016. "Tax Competition, Policy Competition and the Strategic Use of Policy Restrictions on Foreign Direct Investments," Working Papers 201684, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    22. Silvia Rocha-Akis, 2012. "The Pain and Gain of Offshoring: The Effects of Tax Progression in a Segmented Labour Market," CESifo Working Paper Series 3739, CESifo Group Munich.
    23. Exbrayat, Nelly & Geys, Benny, 2012. "Trade integration and business tax differentials: Evidence from OECD countries," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2012-110, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    24. Adriana Giurgiu, 2012. "Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital – By K.P. Thomas," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 190-190, January.

    More about this item


    tax competition; trade unions; foreign direct investment;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy

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