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Tax sensitivity of foreign direct investment : an empirical assessment

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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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    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. Altshuler, Rosanne & Hubbard, R. Glenn, 2003. "The effect of the tax reform act of 1986 on the location of assets in financial services firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 109-127, January.
    4. 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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