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Tax incentives and the location of FDI: evidence from a panel of German multinationals

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  • Buettner, Thiess
  • Ruf, Martin

Abstract

Using a firm-level dataset this paper investigates the impact of taxation on the decision of German multinationals to hold direct investments in other European countries or abroad. Controlling for firm-specific differences in the valuation of potential locations, the results confirm significant effects of tax incentives, market size, and of labor cost on cross-border location decisions. In accordance with Devereux and Griffith (1998) we find that the marginal tax rate has no predictive power for location decisions whereas effective average and statutory tax rates exert significant effects. In particular, the statutory tax rate has strong predictive power for the likelihood of direct investment holdings at a location. The results indicate that an increase in the statutory tax rate by 10 percentage points reduces the odds of observing some positive direct investment by approximately 20 %.

Suggested Citation

  • Buettner, Thiess & Ruf, Martin, 2005. "Tax incentives and the location of FDI: evidence from a panel of German multinationals," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,17, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:3376
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bartik, Timothy J, 1985. "Business Location Decisions in the United States: Estimates of the Effects of Unionization, Taxes, and Other Characteristics of States," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(1), pages 14-22, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Location; FDI; Taxes; Firm-Level Panel Data; Fixed-Effects Logit Model;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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