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Economic Effects of Regional Tax Havens

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Listed:
  • Mihir A. Desai
  • C. Fritz Foley
  • James R. Hines

Abstract

How does the opportunity to use tax havens influence economic activity in nearby non-haven countries? Analysis of affiliate-level data indicates that American multinational firms use tax haven affiliates to reallocate taxable income away from high-tax jurisdictions and to defer home country taxes on foreign income. Ownership of tax haven affiliates is associated with reduced tax payments by nearby non-haven affiliates, the size of the effect being equivalent to a 20.8 percent tax rate reduction. The evidence also indicates that use of tax havens indirectly stimulates the growth of operations in non-haven countries in the same region. A one percent greater likelihood of establishing a tax haven affiliate is associated with 0.5 to 0.7 percent greater sales and investment growth by non-haven affiliates, implying a complementary relationship between haven and non-haven activity. The ability to avoid taxes by using tax haven affiliates therefore appears to facilitate economic activity in non-haven countries within regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2004. "Economic Effects of Regional Tax Havens," NBER Working Papers 10806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10806
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Petr Janský, 2015. "Updating the Rich Countries’ Commitment to Development Index: How They Help Poorer Ones Through Curbing Illicit Financial Flows," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 43-65, October.
    2. James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Do Tax Havens Flourish?," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19, pages 65-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. William Vlcek, 2011. "Offshore finance in Ghana: why not?," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(127), pages 143-149, March.
    4. Graham, John R. & Tucker, Alan L., 2006. "Tax shelters and corporate debt policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 563-594, September.
    5. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "The demand for tax haven operations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 513-531, February.
    6. Daniel Haberly & Dariusz Wójcik, 2015. "Regional Blocks and Imperial Legacies: Mapping the Global Offshore FDI Network," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 91(3), pages 251-280, July.
    7. Budryte, Alge, 2005. "Corporate income taxation in Lithuania in the context of the EU," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 200-228, June.
    8. Metaxas, Theodore & Kallioras, Dimitris, 2013. "Small and medium-sized firms' competitiveness and territorial characteristics/assets: The cases of Bari, Varna and Thessaloniki," MPRA Paper 52446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Ana Agundez-Garcia, 2006. "The Delineation and Apportionment of an EU Consolidated Tax Base for Multi-jurisdictional Corporate Income Taxation: a Review of Issues and Options," Taxation Papers 9, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission, revised Oct 2006.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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