IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Tax Incentives

  • A. KLEMM


This paper considers two empirical questions about tax incentives: (i) are incentives used as tools of tax competition and (ii) how effective are incentives in attracting investment? To answer these, we prepared a new dataset of tax incentives in over 40 Latin American, Caribbean and African countries for the period 1985–2004. Using spatial econometrics techniques for panel data to answer the first question, we find evidence for strategic interaction in tax holidays, in addition to the well-known competition over the corporate income tax (CIT) rate. We find no evidence, however, for competition over investment allowances and tax credits. Using dynamic panel data econometrics to answer the second question, we find evidence that lower CIT rates and longer tax holidays are effective in attracting FDI in Latin America and the Caribbean but not in Africa. None of the tax incentives is effective in boosting gross private fixed capital formation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 10/673.

in new window

Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:10/673
Contact details of provider: Postal: Hoveniersberg 4, B-9000 Gent
Phone: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 34 61
Fax: ++ 32 (0) 9 264 35 92
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Richard E. Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 2002. "Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization," NBER Working Papers 9290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
  3. Alexander Klemm, 2009. "Causes, Benefits, and Risks of Business Tax Incentives," IMF Working Papers 09/21, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Kelejian, Harry H. & Prucha, Ingmar R., 2004. "Estimation of simultaneous systems of spatially interrelated cross sectional equations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 118(1-2), pages 27-50.
  5. Nicole Madariaga & Sandra Poncet, 2007. "FDI in Chinese Cities: Spillovers and Impact on Growth," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(5), pages 837-862, 05.
  6. Céline Azemar & Rodolphe Desbordes & Jean-Louis Mucchielli, 2007. "Do tax sparing agreements contribute to the attraction of FDI in developing countries?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00310534, HAL.
  7. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
  8. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2007. "Estimating models of complex FDI: Are there third-country effects?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 260-281, September.
  9. Hassett, Kevin A. & Hubbard, R. Glenn, 2002. "Tax policy and business investment," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 20, pages 1293-1343 Elsevier.
  10. Kelejian, Harry H & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1998. "A Generalized Spatial Two-Stage Least Squares Procedure for Estimating a Spatial Autoregressive Model with Autoregressive Disturbances," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 99-121, July.
  11. Asiedu, Elizabeth, 2002. "On the Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment to Developing Countries: Is Africa Different?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 107-119, January.
  12. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  13. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  14. Azémar, Céline & Delios, Andrew, 2008. "Tax competition and FDI: The special case of developing countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 85-108, March.
  15. Bruce A. Blonigen & Miao Wang, 2004. "Inappropriate Pooling of Wealthy and Poor Countries in Empirical FDI Studies," Working Papers and Research 0903, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
  16. Ruud de Mooij & S. Ederveen, 2001. "Taxation and foreign direct investment; a synthesis of empirical research," CPB Discussion Paper 3, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  17. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  18. Martial Foucault & Thierry Madies & Sonia Paty, 2008. "Public Spending Interactions and Local Politics. Empirical Evidence from French Municipalities," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00339812, HAL.
  19. Dreher, Axel, 2006. "The influence of globalization on taxes and social policy: An empirical analysis for OECD countries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 179-201, March.
  20. Nicholas Bloom & Rachel Griffith & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Do R&D Tax Credits Work? Evidence from a Panel of Countries 1979-1997," Discussion Papers 07-020, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  21. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  22. Elizabeth Asiedu, 2006. "Foreign Direct Investment in Africa: The Role of Natural Resources, Market Size, Government Policy, Institutions and Political Instability," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 63-77, 01.
  23. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  24. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
  25. Rosanne Altshuler & Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2015. "Follow the Leader? Evidence on European and US Tax Competition," Public Finance Review, , vol. 43(4), pages 485-504, July.
  26. Stefan Parys & Sebastian James, 2010. "The effectiveness of tax incentives in attracting investment: panel data evidence from the CFA Franc zone," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 400-429, August.
  27. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  28. Zee, Howell H. & Stotsky, Janet G. & Ley, Eduardo, 2002. "Tax Incentives for Business Investment: A Primer for Policy Makers in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1497-1516, September.
  29. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  30. 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.
  31. Kukenova, Madina & Monteiro, Jose-Antonio, 2008. "Spatial Dynamic Panel Model and System GMM: A Monte Carlo Investigation," MPRA Paper 13405, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2009.
  32. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1992. "A Sensitivity Analysis of Cross-Country Growth Regressions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 942-63, September.
  33. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  34. Mutti, John & Grubert, Harry, 2004. "Empirical asymmetries in foreign direct investment and taxation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 337-358, March.
  35. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
  36. Mario Mansour & Michael Keen, 2009. "Revenue Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenges from Globalization," IMF Working Papers 09/157, International Monetary Fund.
  37. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel & Simpson, Helen, 2007. "Firm location decisions, regional grants and agglomeration externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 413-435, April.
  38. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Glen R. Waddell & Helen T. Naughton, 2004. "FDI in Space: Spatial Autoregressive Relationships in Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 10939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Lee, Lung-fei & Yu, Jihai, 2010. "Some recent developments in spatial panel data models," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 255-271, September.
  40. Bondonio, Daniele & Greenbaum, Robert T., 2007. "Do local tax incentives affect economic growth? What mean impacts miss in the analysis of enterprise zone policies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 121-136, January.
  41. Durham, J.B.J. Benson, 2004. "Absorptive capacity and the effects of foreign direct investment and equity foreign portfolio investment on economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 285-306, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:10/673. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nathalie Verhaeghe)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.