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Taxation, Business Environment and FDI Location in OECD Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Dana Hajkova
  • Giuseppe Nicoletti
  • Laura Vartia
  • Kwang-Yeol Yoo

This paper assesses the importance of taxation on foreign direct investment contributing to the literature in two ways. First, it relates bilateral FDI among OECD countries over the 1990s to a new set of estimates of corporate tax wedges that include many relevant aspects of FDI taxation. Second, it controls for a large set of additional policy and non-policy factors that may affect the attractiveness of a country for foreign investors. Furthermore, the empirical approach is novel in that it focuses on a semi-parametric estimation methodology that accounts for a number of unobserved effects possibly impinging on the choice of investment location by multinational enterprises. Consistent with previous findings, the estimation results suggest that corporate taxation has a non-negligible impact on FDI location choices. However, the results suggest that focusing only on taxation in home and host countries and omitting other policies (such as border policies and labour and product market settings) may lead to a serious overestimation of tax elasticities and their relevance for policy. Fiscalité, environnement des entreprises et localisation des IDE dans les pays OCDE Cette étude évalue l'importance des politiques fiscales pour les investissements directs étrangers (IDE). Il contribue a littérature de deux façons: d'une part, l'étude établit un rapport entre les IDE bilatéraux dans les pays de l'OCDE pendant les années 90 et un nouvel ensemble d'indicateurs de taux effectifs d'imposition des sociétés couvrant plusieurs aspects de la taxation sur les IDE. D?autre part, il contrôle pour un ensemble des politiques économiques et autres facteurs susceptibles d'influencer l'attractivité d'un territoire pour les investisseurs étrangers. En outre, l'approche empirique est originale dans la mesure où elle utilise une méthodologie d'estimation semi-parametrique qui tient compte des effets inobservables affectant le choix de localisation des entreprises multinationales. En ligne avec les conclusions de la littérature, les résultats indiquent que l'imposition des sociétés a des incidences non-négligeables sur les choix de localisation des IDE. Cependant, les résultats indiquent qu'il est possible de sérieusement surestimer les élasticités par rapport aux taxes et leur importance politique en se concentrant seulement sur les impôts dans les pays d'origine et d'accueil des investissements, sans prendre en compte un certain nombre de politiques (telles que les obstacles frontaliers et le fonctionnement du marché du travail et des produits).

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 502.

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Date of creation: 24 Jul 2006
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:502-en
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