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State Tax Competition for Foreign Direct Investment: A Winnable War?

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  • Ronald B. Davies

    () (University of Oregon Economics Department)

Abstract

When a multinational firm invests in a country, potential host states compete for the firm by offering firm-specific tax reductions. Critics blast such incentives as a prisoner’s dilemma that transfers rents to the firm without affecting the investment decision. In fact, these incentives are tied to the firm’s use of domestic inputs indicating that incentives affect output decisions. If there exist positive interstate spillovers, a federal subsidy is necessary to reach the national optimum without tax competition. Competition reduces state taxes and thus the need for federal subsidies. Also, under competition, the firm locates in the nation’s preferred location. Therefore, tax competition offers two means of increasing national welfare, indicating that it is not a simple prisoner’s dilemma.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald B. Davies, 2000. "State Tax Competition for Foreign Direct Investment: A Winnable War?," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2000-4, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Jul 2002.
  • Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2000-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruce A. Blonigen & Van Kolpin, 2007. "Technology, agglomeration, and regional competition for investment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1149-1167, November.
    2. Raff, Horst, 2004. "Preferential trade agreements and tax competition for foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2745-2763, December.
    3. Alyson C. Ma & Ari Van Assche, 2016. "Spatial Linkages and Export Processing Location in China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 316-338, March.
    4. Ronald B. Davies & Carsten Eckel, 2010. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 77-102, February.
    5. Céline Azémar & Rodolphe Desbordes, 2010. "Short-run Strategies for Attracting Foreign Direct Investment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(7), pages 928-957, July.
    6. Daniel Hopp & Michael Kriebel, 2016. "The political economy of interregional competition for firms," CQE Working Papers 5616, Center for Quantitative Economics (CQE), University of Muenster.
    7. Chor, Davin, 2009. "Subsidies for FDI: Implications from a model with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 113-125, June.
    8. Haufler, Andreas & Wooton, Ian, 2010. "Competition for firms in an oligopolistic industry: The impact of economic integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 239-248, March.
    9. Zhang, Junfu, 2011. "Interjurisdictional competition for FDI: The case of China's "development zone fever"," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 145-159, March.
    10. Ronald B. Davies & Carsten Eckel, 2007. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry:The Case of Heterogeneous Fixed Costs," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp213, IIIS.
    11. Haufler, Andreas & Wooton, Ian, 2007. "Competition for Firms in an Oligopolistic Industry: Do Firms or Countries Have to Pay?," Discussion Papers in Economics 1399, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    12. Nikopour, Hesam & Shah Habibullah, Muzafar & Schneider, Friedrich & Law, Siong Hook, 2009. "Foreign Direct Investment and Shadow Economy: A Causality Analysis Using Panel Data," MPRA Paper 14485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Andreas Haufler & Ferdinand Mittermaier, 2011. "Unionisation Triggers Tax Incentives to Attract Foreign Direct Investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 793-818, June.
    14. Adams, Laurel & Régibeau, Pierre & Rockett, Katharine, 2014. "Incentives to create jobs: Regional subsidies, national trade policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 102-119.
    15. Timothy P. Hubbard & Justin Svec, 2015. "A Model of Tradeable Capital Tax Permits," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(6), pages 916-942, December.
    16. C. Dembour, 2008. "Competition for Business Location: A Survey," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 89-111, June.
    17. Becker, Sascha O. & Egger, Peter H. & Merlo, Valeria, 2012. "How low business tax rates attract MNE activity: Municipality-level evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 698-711.
    18. Johannes Becker & Ronald B. Davies, 2013. "Learning and international policy diffusion: the case of corporate tax policy," Working Papers 1319, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    19. Libman, Alexander, 2004. "Мировой Опыт Оптимизации Налогообложения: Роль Налоговой Конкуренции И Оффшорных Центров В Мировом Хозяйстве
      [International Experience of Tax Optimization - The Role of Tax Competition and Offshore
      ," MPRA Paper 17042, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Johannes Becker & Ronald B. Davies, 2015. "Learning to Tax ?- Interjurisdictional Tax Competition under Incomplete Information," Working Papers 201519, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    21. Ronald B. Davies & Hartmut Egger & Peter Egger, 2003. "Tax Competition for International Producers and the Mode of Foreign Market Entry," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2006-19, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 10 Jun 2003.
    22. Leon Bettendorf & Joeri Gorter & Albert van der Horst, 2006. "Who benefits from tax competition in the European Union?," CPB Document 125, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    23. Taiji Furusawa & Kazumi Hori & Ian Wooton, 2015. "A race beyond the bottom: the nature of bidding for a firm," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(3), pages 452-475, June.
    24. Lourenço S. Paz, 2014. "Inter-industry Productivity Spillovers: An Analysis Using the 1989-1998 Brazilian Trade Liberalisation," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(9), pages 1261-1274, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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