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Tax sensitivity of foreign direct investment : an empirical assessment

Author

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  • Shah, Anwar
  • Slemrod, Joel

Abstract

Tax sensitivity of foreign direct investment (FDI) has important policy implications. If FDI is not responsive to taxation, then it may be an appropriate target for taxation by the host country, which can raise revenue without sacrificing any economic benefits FDI produces. This paper examines the effects of taxation on FDI in Mexico. The empirical model used for this purpose distinguishes FDI finance by transfers and retained earnings and incorporates host and home country tax and non-tax factors including host country risk factors and credit status of multinationals. The paper concludes that empirical evidence on tax sensitivity of FDI in Mexico is quite strong. It suggests that FDI transfers and reinvested earnings respond negatively to the Mexican effective tax rate and to regulations. It is further dampened by the excess credit status of multinationals. It is encouraged by a favorable economic and political climate in Mexico, as indicated by the country credit rating of The Institutional Investor and by tariffs.

Suggested Citation

  • Shah, Anwar & Slemrod, Joel, 1990. "Tax sensitivity of foreign direct investment : an empirical assessment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 434, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:434
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Assaf Razin & Joel Slemrod, 1990. "Taxation in the Global Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number razi90-1, June.
    2. Auerbach, Alan J & Hines, James R, Jr, 1988. "Investment Tax Incentives and Frequent Tax Reforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 211-216, May.
    3. James R. Hines, Jr. & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1990. "Coming Home To America: Dividend Repatriations By U.S. Multinationals," NBER Chapters,in: Taxation in the Global Economy, pages 161-208 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Young, Kan H., 1988. "The Effects of Taxes and Rates of Return on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 41(1), pages 109-121, March.
    5. Slemrod, Joel, 1993. "A North-South Model of Taxation and Capital Flows," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(3), pages 430-447.
    6. Michael J. Boskin & William G. Gale, 1987. "New Results on the Effects of Tax Policy on the International Location of Investment," NBER Chapters,in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 201-222 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Young, Kan H., 1988. "The Effects of Taxes and Rates of Return on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(1), pages 109-21, March.
    8. Auerbach, Alan, 1990. "The cost of capital and investment in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 410, The World Bank.
    9. Alberto Giovannini, 1987. "International Capital Mobility and Tax Evasion," NBER Working Papers 2460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Murthy, N.R. Vasudeva, 1989. "The Effects of Taxes and Rates of Return on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: Some Econometric Comments," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(2), pages 205-07, June.
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    12. Murthy, N.R. Vasudeva, 1989. "The Effects of Taxes and Rates of Return on Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: Some Econometric Comments," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 42(2), pages 205-207, June.
    13. Bond, Eric W. & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Bargaining with commitment, choice of techniques, and direct foreign investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 77-97, February.
    14. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
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    16. Slemrod, J., 1989. "Tax Effects Of Foreign Direct Investment In The U.S.: Evidence From A Cross-Country Comparison," Working Papers 254, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ram Mudambi, 1999. "Multinational Investment Attraction: Principal-Agent Considerations," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 65-79.
    2. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "How Taxing is Corruption on International Investors?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-11, February.
    3. Nagesh Kumar, 2000. "Explaining the geography and depth of international production: The case of US and Japanese multinational enterprises," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 136(3), pages 442-477, September.

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