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Tax competition when firms choose their organizational form: Should tax loopholes for multinationals be closed?

  • Bucovetsky, Sam
  • Haufler, Andreas

We analyze a sequential game between two symmetric countries when firms can invest in a multinational structure that confers tax savings. Governments are able to commit to long-run tax discrimination policies before firms' decisions are made and before statutory capital tax rates are chosen non-cooperatively. Whether a coordinated reduction in the tax preferences granted to mobile firms is beneficial or harmful for the competing countries depends critically on the elasticity with which the firms' organizational structure responds to tax discrimination incentives. The model can be applied to recent policy initiatives that aim at a ban on preferential tax regimes and at reducing the profit shifting opportunities for multinational firms.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 729.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:729
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  1. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, June.
  2. Abderrahmane Ziad & T. Bayindir-Upmann, 2005. "Existence of Equilibria in a Basic Tax-competition Model," Post-Print halshs-00068854, HAL.
  3. Horstmann, Ignatius J. & Markusen, James R., 1992. "Endogenous market structures in international trade (natura facit saltum)," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 109-129, February.
  4. Xavier WAUTHY & Susana PERALTA & Tanguy VAN YPERSELE, . "Should Countries Control International Profit Shifting?," EcoMod2004 330600158, EcoMod.
  5. Eckhard Janeba & Michael Smart, 2001. "Is Targeted Tax Competition Less Harmful than its Remedies?," CESifo Working Paper Series 590, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Haupt, Alexander & Peters, Wolfgang, 2005. "Restricting preferential tax regimes to avoid harmful tax competition," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 493-507, September.
  7. Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with interregional differences in factor endowments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 423-451, November.
  8. Osmundsen, P. & Hagen, K. P. & Schjelderup, G., 1998. "Internationally mobile firms and tax policy1," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 97-113, June.
  9. Keen, Michael & Lahiri, Sajal, 1998. "The comparison between destination and origin principles under imperfect competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 323-350, August.
  10. Thomas A. Gresik, 2001. "The Taxing Task of Taxing Transnationals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 800-838, September.
  11. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  12. 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.
  13. Mintz, Jack & Smart, Michael, 2004. "Income shifting, investment, and tax competition: theory and evidence from provincial taxation in Canada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1149-1168, June.
  14. Swenson, Deborah L., 2001. "Tax Reforms and Evidence of Transfer Pricing," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 7-26, March.
  15. Davies, Ronald B & Gresik, Thomas A, 2003. "Tax Competition and Foreign Capital," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 127-45, March.
  16. Bartelsman, Eric J & Beetsma, Roel, 2000. "Why Pay More? Corporate Tax Avoidance Through Transfer Pricing in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2543, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen, 1990. "Endogenous Market Structures in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3283, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. repec:ttp:itpwps:0402 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2000. "Tax evasion, fiscal competition and economic integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1633-1657, October.
  20. Kant, Chander, 1988. "Endogenous transfer pricing and the effects of uncertain regulation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 147-157, February.
  21. Marcel Gérard, 2005. "Multijurisdictional Firms and Governments’ Strategies under Alternative Tax Designs," CESifo Working Paper Series 1527, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Qing Hong & Michael Smart, 2006. "In praise of tax havens: International tax planning and foreign direct investment," Working Papers tecipa-265, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  23. Joel Slemrod & John D. Wilson, 2006. "Tax Competition With Parasitic Tax Havens," NBER Working Papers 12225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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.
  25. Eckhard Janeba, 2000. "Tax Competition When Governments Lack Commitment: Excess Capacity as a Countervailing Threat," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1508-1519, December.
  26. Bayindir-Upmann, Thorsten & Ziad, Abderrahmanne, 2005. "Existence of equilibria in a basic tax-competition model," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, January.
  27. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 1998. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 335-367, June.
  28. 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.
  29. Alfons Weichenrieder, 1996. "Fighting international tax avoidance," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 37-58, February.
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