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Tax Policy and the Activities of Multinational Corporations

  • James R. Hines, Jr.

This paper reviews quantitative studies of the impact of international tax rules on the financial and real behavior of multinational firms. The evidence, much of it recent, indicates that taxation significantly influences foreign direct investment, corporate borrowing, transfer pricing, dividend and royalty payments, R&D activity, exports, bribe payments, and location choices. While taxes appear to influence a wide range of activity, the literature does not offer many subtle tests designed to distinguish different theories of the effects of taxation on multinational firms. The paper evaluates the reliability of existing evidence and its implications for the design of international tax policy.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5589.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5589.

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Date of creation: May 1996
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Publication status: published as in Alan J. Auerbach, ed. Fiscal Policy: Lessons From Economic Research(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997), pp.401-445.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5589
Note: ITI PE
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  1. Gordon, R.H. & Jun, J., 1991. "Taxes and the Form of Ownership of Foreign Corporate Equity," Papers 652, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  2. James R. Hines & Eric M. Rice, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-182.
  3. Julie Collins & Douglas Shackelford, 1995. "Corporate domicile and average effective tax rates: The cases of Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(1), pages 55-83, February.
  4. Rosanne Altshuler & T. Scott Newlon & William Randolph, 1996. "Do Repatriation Taxes Matter? Evidence from the Tax Returns of U.S. Multinationals," Departmental Working Papers 199405, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  5. Harry Grubert & Joel Slemrod, 1994. "The Effect of Taxes on Investment and Income Shifting to Puerto Rico," NBER Working Papers 4869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hines, James Jr., 1994. "Credit and deferral as international investment incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 323-347, October.
  7. Martin Feldstein & James R. Hines Jr. & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1995. "The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld95-2, September.
  8. Bartik, Timothy J, 1985. "Business Location Decisions in the United States: Estimates of the Effects of Unionization, Taxes, and Other Characteristics of States," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(1), pages 14-22, January.
  9. Alberto Giovannini & R. Glenn Hubbard & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "Studies in International Taxation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number giov93-1, September.
  10. Swenson, Deborah L., 1994. "The impact of U.S. tax reform on foreign direct investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 243-266, June.
  11. Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1995. "Why Is There Corporate Taxation in a Small Open Economy? The Role of Transfer Pricing and Income Shifting," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 67-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sinn, H.W., 1990. "Taxation And The Birth Of Foreign Subsidiaries," Papers 66, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  13. Michael J. Boskin & William G. Gale, 1987. "New Results on the Effects of Tax Policy on the International Location of Investment," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 201-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
  15. James R. Hines, Jr., 1994. "Taxes, Technology Transfer, and the R&D Activities of Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 4932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin Hassett & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: A Reconsideration of the Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 119-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Bond, Eric W, 1981. "Tax Holidays and Industry Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 88-95, February.
  18. Coughlin, Cletus C & Terza, Joseph V & Arromdee, Vachira, 1991. "State Characteristics and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment within the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 675-83, November.
  19. Rosanne Altshuler & Jack Mintz, 1994. "U.S. Interest Allocation Rules: Effects and Policy," NBER Working Papers 4712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Kopits, George F, 1976. "Intra-firm Royalties Crossing Frontiers and Transfer-Pricing Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(344), pages 791-805, December.
  21. Hines, J.R.J. & Hubbard, R.G., 1989. "Coming Home To America - Devidend Repatriations By U.S. Multinationals," Papers 146, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  22. Hines, J.R., 1990. "The Flight Paths Of Migratory Corporations," Papers 65, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  23. Lall, Sanjaya, 1973. "Transfer-Pricing by Multinational Manufacturing Firms," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 35(3), pages 173-95, August.
  24. Hines, James R, Jr, 1996. " Dividends and Profits: Some Unsubtle Foreign Influences," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(2), pages 661-89, June.
  25. Daniel J. Frisch & David G. Hartman, 1983. "Taxation and the Location of U.S. Investment Abroad," NBER Working Papers 1241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Michael Devereux & Harold Freeman, 1995. "The impact of tax on foreign direct investment: Empirical evidence and the implications for tax integration schemes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(1), pages 85-106, February.
  27. Kenneth A. Froot & James R. Hines, Jr., 1995. "Interest Allocation Rules, Financing Patterns, and the Operations of U.S. Multinationals," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 277-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. James R. Hines, Jr., 1994. "No Place Like Home: Tax Incentives and the Location of R&D by American Multinationals," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 8, pages 65-104 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Mihir C. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Domestic Capital Stock," NBER Working Papers 11075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Stevens, Guy V. G. & Lipsey, Robert E., 1992. "Interactions between domestic and foreign investment," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 40-62, February.
  31. Rosanne Altshuler & T. Scott Newlon & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "The Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on the Income Repatriation Patterns of U. S . Multinational Corporations," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 77-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Andrew B. Lyon & Gerald Silverstein, 1994. "The Alternative Minimum Tax and the Behavior of Multinational Corporations," NBER Working Papers 4783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Mintz, Jack M. & Tsiopoulos, Thomas, 1994. "The effectiveness of corporate tax incentives for foreign investment in the presence of tax crediting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 233-255, October.
  34. Jenkins, Glenn P & Wright, Brian D, 1975. "Taxation of Income of Multinational Corporations: The Case of the United States Petroleum Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(1), pages 1-11, February.
  35. Joel B. Slemrod, 1990. "Tax Effects on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: Evidence from a Cross-Country Comparison," NBER Chapters, in: Taxation in the Global Economy, pages 79-122 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Jason Cummins & Trevor Harris & Kevin Hassett, 1995. "Accounting Standards, Information Flow, and Firm Investment Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 181-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Marsha Blumenthal & Joel Slemrod, 1995. "The compliance cost of taxing foreign-source income: Its magnitude, determinants, and policy implications," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 2(1), pages 37-53, February.
  38. G. Peter Wilson & R. Glenn Hubbard & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "The Role of Taxes in Location and Sourcing Decisions," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 195-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Robert E. Lipsey, 1995. "Outward Direct Investment and the U.S. Economy," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 7-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Leechor, Chad & Mintz, Jack, 1993. "On the taxation of multinational corporate investment when the deferral method is used by the capital exporting country," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 75-96, May.
  41. Martin S. Feldstein, 1995. "The Effects of Outbound Foreign Direct Investment on the Domestic Capital Stock," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 43-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. David G. Hartman, 1981. "Domestic Tax Policy and Foreign Investment: Some Evidence," NBER Working Papers 0784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. 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.
  44. James R. Hines, Jr., 1988. "Taxation and U.S. Multinational Investment," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy: Volume 2, pages 33-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. Young, Kan H., 1988. "The Effects of Taxes and Rates of Return on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 109-21, March.
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