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Reassessing the Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on US FDI Activity

Author

Listed:
  • Daniel Millimet

    () (SMU)

  • Abdullah Kumas

    () (SMU)

Abstract

Despite substantial evidence that foreign direct investment (FDI) is influenced by taxation, the impact of bilateral tax treaties on FDI is surprisingly unclear. We provide a simple theoretical framework illustrating why the impact of tax treaties may be heterogeneous across the distribution of FDI, and thus why focusing on the average effect of tax treaties may be misleading. We then assess the empirical relevance of such heterogeneity by estimating the quantile treatment effects (QTEs) of tax treaties on US inbound and outbound FDI using panel data from 1980--1999. Our results are striking, and consistent with our expectations. We obtain positive effects of tax treaties at lower quantiles of the distribution of FDI, but negative effects in the upper quantiles. Moreover, while the negative effects are substantially larger in absolute terms relative to the positive effects, the two effects are roughly equivalent in percentage terms.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Millimet & Abdullah Kumas, 2007. "Reassessing the Effects of Bilateral Tax Treaties on US FDI Activity," Departmental Working Papers 0704, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:704
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ronald B. Davies & Pehr-Johan Norbäck & Ayça Tekin-Koru, 2009. "The Effect of Tax Treaties on Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Microdata," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 77-110, January.
    2. Harendt, Christoph & Dreßler, Daniel & Overesch, Michael, 2016. "The Impact of Tax Treaties and Repatriation Taxes on FDI Revisited," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145588, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Mário MARQUES & Carlos PINHO, 2014. "Effects of Corporate Taxation and Bilateral Tax Treaties on European Multinationals’ Investment, 2005-2009. A Multi-Country Analysis," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(1), pages 33-44.
    4. Joseph Daniels & Patrick O’Brien & Marc Ruhr, 2015. "Bilateral tax treaties and US foreign direct investment financing modes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(6), pages 999-1027, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign Direct Investment; Tax Treaties; Quantile Treatment Effects; Propensity Score Weighting;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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