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Profit Sharing Between Governments and Multinationals in Natural Resource Extraction: Evidence From a Firm-Level Panel

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  • Margaret S. McMillan
  • Andrew R. Waxman

Abstract

The "fairness" of negotiations between countries and resource extracting firms is subject to many accusations and counter-accusations and may be argued, in many instances, to impact the subsequent economic benefit to a host country from extraction. This paper examines the role of host country governance on the share of government take from extraction revenue. We attempt to disentangle a number of competing hypotheses regarding the relationship between governance and government take using panel data for US resource extracting multinational corporations (MNCs) operating abroad from the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the US Department of Commerce over 1982-1999. Using fixed effects regression, we find a statistically significant positive impact of institutional quality on government take. The nature of this relationship -- whether this represents the result of a "corruption premium" paid by US MNCs or the exploitation of poor governance in negotiating government take -- is not completely clear. The evidence presented does, however, indicate that potential forms of bargaining power other than institutional quality (e.g., outside options to the deal) do increase government take, indicating that bargaining power may nonetheless be an important factor.

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret S. McMillan & Andrew R. Waxman, 2007. "Profit Sharing Between Governments and Multinationals in Natural Resource Extraction: Evidence From a Firm-Level Panel," NBER Working Papers 13332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. van der Ploeg, Frederick & Rohner, Dominic, 2012. "War and natural resource exploitation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1714-1729.
    2. Hajzler, Christopher, 2014. "Resource-based FDI and expropriation in developing economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 124-146.
    3. Población, Javier & Correia, Ricardo & Restrepo, Diana, 2012. "Political risk and corporate investment decisions," DEE - Working Papers. Business Economics. WB 13114, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía de la Empresa.
    4. Di Corato, Luca, 2013. "Profit sharing under the threat of nationalization," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 295-315.

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    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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