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The Effectiveness of Tax Incentives in Attracting FDI: Evidence from the Tourism Sector in the Caribbean




  • S. JAMES


We investigate to what extend tax incentives have been effective in attracting Foreign Direct Investment in the tourism sector in the Caribbean in the period 1997-2007. More precisely, we test whether the neoclassical investment theory prediction that tax incentives, by lowering the user cost of capital, raise investment, holds in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). We use differences in difference to assess the impact of an important change in tax incentives for tourism investment in Antigua and Barbuda in 2003. The other ECCU countries serve as excellent control group countries since the small islands share the same currency, coordinate macroeconomic policies to some extent, have similar geographical characteristics, and compete for the same big international tourism corporations. Accounting for other factors driving tourism FDI in this region, we find that tourism investment in Antigua and Barbuda after 2003 increased significantly more than investment in the other six ECCU countries due to the tourism tax incentives reform. This study is one of the first to assess the impact of sector specific tax incentives on investment in developing countries. Moreover, while previous studies relied on cross sectional differences, our differences in difference approach offers a cleaner way to identify the effect of the tax incentives policy.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Van Parys & S. James, 2010. "The Effectiveness of Tax Incentives in Attracting FDI: Evidence from the Tourism Sector in the Caribbean," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 10/675, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:10/675

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christopher L. House & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2008. "Temporary Investment Tax Incentives: Theory with Evidence from Bonus Depreciation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 737-768, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:macfem:v:11:y:2018:i:1:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Majid FESHARI & Ali AKBAR TAGHIPOUR & Mojtaba VALIBEIGI, 2016. "Tourism Demand And Tax Relationship In Islamic Regions," Regional Science Inquiry, Hellenic Association of Regional Scientists, vol. 0(3), pages 99-106, December.
    3. repec:hrs:journl:v:viii:y:2016:i:3:p:99-106 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Tidiane Kinda, 2018. "The quest for non-resource-based FDI: Do taxes matter?," Macroeconomics and Finance in Emerging Market Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 1-18, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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