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Why Is Capital So Immobile Internationally?: Possible Explanations and Implications for Capital Income Taxation

  • Gordon, R.H.
  • Bovenberg, A.L.

The evidence on international capital immobility is extensive, including the lack of international portfolio diversification, real interest differentials across countries, and the high correlation between domestic savings and investment. The authors develop a model with asymmetric information between countries that helps rationalize all the above observations and then examine the implications of this model for optimal domestic tax policy. Without asymmetric information, past work showed that small open economies should not impose corporate income taxes. With asymmetric information, the optimal policy instead involves government subsidies to capital imports. Some omitted factors that argue against subsidizing capital imports are explored briefly. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.

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Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 358.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 1994
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:358
Contact details of provider: Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page: http://fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/

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  1. Harris, Robert S & Ravenscraft, David, 1991. " The Role of Acquisitions in Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from the U.S. Stock Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 825-44, July.
  2. Kenneth R. French & James M. Poterba, 1991. "Investor Diversification and International Equity Markets," NBER Working Papers 3609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Linda L. Tesar & Ingrid M. Werner, 1994. "International Equity Transactions and U.S. Portfolio Choice," NBER Working Papers 4611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mishkin, Frederic S, 1984. " Are Real Interest Rates Equal across Countries? An Empirical Investigation of International Parity Conditions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(5), pages 1345-57, December.
  5. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-29, June.
  6. Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "Tax Policy and International Competitiveness," NBER Chapters, in: International Aspects of Fiscal Policies, pages 349-386 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 1991. "International tax competition and gains from tax harmonization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 69-76, September.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld, 1985. "Capital Mobility in the World Economy: Theory and Measurement," NBER Working Papers 1692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Roger H. Gordon & Joosung Jun & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "Taxes and the Form of Ownership of Foreign Corporate Equity," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 13-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Adler, Michael & Dumas, Bernard, 1983. " International Portfolio Choice and Corporation Finance: A Synthesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(3), pages 925-84, June.
  11. Tamim Bayoumi, 1990. "Saving-Investment Correlations: Immobile Capital, Government Policy, or Endogenous Behavior?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(2), pages 360-387, June.
  12. Robert E. Cumby & Maurice Obstfeld, 1982. "International Interest-Rate and Price-Level Linkages Under Flexible Exchange Rates: A Review of Recent Evidence," NBER Working Papers 0921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Harry Grubert & Timothy Goodspeed & Deborah L. Swenson, 1993. "Explaining the Low Taxable Income of Foreign-Controlled Companies in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 237-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Murphy, Robert G., 1984. "Capital mobility and the relationship between saving and investment rates in OECD countries," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 327-342, December.
  15. Roger H. Gordon & Hal R. Varian, 1986. "Taxation of Asset Income in the Presence of a World Securites Market," NBER Working Papers 1994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  17. Gerard Caprio & David H. Howard, 1983. "Domestic saving, current accounts, and international capital mobility," International Finance Discussion Papers 244, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Robert E. Cumby & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1984. "The International Linkage of Real Interest Rates: The European - U.S. Connection," NBER Working Papers 1423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Tesar, L.L., 1988. "Savings, Investment And International Capital Flows," Papers 64, Brookings Institution - Working Papers.
  20. Alberto Giovannini & R. Glenn Hubbard & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "Studies in International Taxation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number giov93-1, June.
  21. Michael Dooley & Jeffrey Frankel & Donald J. Mathieson, 1987. "International Capital Mobility: What Do Saving-Investment Correlations Tell Us?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 503-530, September.
  22. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  23. Goodspeed, T-J & White, A-D, 1996. "International taxation," Papers 96-11, Wellesley College - Department of Economics.
  24. Gordon, Roger H, 1986. "Taxation of Investment and Savings in a World Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1086-1102, December.
  25. Finn, Mary G., 1990. "On savings and investment dynamics in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 1-21, August.
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