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Foreign direct investment in the enlarged EU: do taxes matter and to what extent?


  • Wolff, Guntram B.


Foreign direct investment is of increasing importance in the European Union. This paper estimates the effect of taxes on foreign direct investment (FDI) flows and on three sub-components of these flows for the countries of the en- larged European Union. The model in the spirit of gravity equations robustly explains FDI flows between the 25 member states. Sample selection needs to be addressed in the estimation. We show that the different subcomponents of FDI should and indeed do react differently to taxes. After controlling for unobserved country characteristics and common time effects, the top statutory corporate tax rate of both, source and host country, turn insignificant for total FDI and investment into equity. However, high source country taxes clearly increase the probability of firms to re-invest profits abroad and lower the percentage of debt financed FDI. This might reflect profit re-allocation to avoid taxes. Market size factors have the expected signs for total FDI. Non-productivity adjusted wages as determinants of FDI are less robust.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolff, Guntram B., 2006. "Foreign direct investment in the enlarged EU: do taxes matter and to what extent?," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,13, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:4249

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    Cited by:

    1. Jochem Axel, 2010. "International Financial Competitiveness and Incentives to Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 230(1), pages 42-58, February.
    2. Sabine Herrmann & Adalbert Winkler, 2009. "Financial markets and the current account: emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 145(3), pages 531-550, October.
    3. Lars P. Feld & Jost H. Heckemeyer, 2011. "Fdi And Taxation: A Meta‐Study," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 233-272, April.
    4. Herrmann, Sabine & Winkler, Adalbert, 2009. "Real convergence, financial markets, and the current account - Emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 100-123, August.
    5. Francesco Guidi & Rakesh Gupta & Suneel Maheshwari, 2011. "Weak-form Market Efficiency and Calendar Anomalies for Eastern Europe Equity Markets," Journal of Emerging Market Finance, Institute for Financial Management and Research, vol. 10(3), pages 337-389, December.
    6. Vuta Mariana & Lazar Paula & Vuta Mihai, 2012. "Fiscal Competition And Direct Foreign Investments: Romania Versus Poland," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(2), pages 527-532, December.
    7. repec:prg:jnlefa:v:2017:y:2017:i:2:id:180:p:41-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Lenka Janíčková & Veronika Baranová, 2013. "Vliv efektivních daňových sazeb a jejich komponent na přímé zahraniční investice - případ členských zemí EU
      [Impact of Effective Tax Rates and Its Components on Foreign Direct Investment - The Case
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2013(2), pages 209-228.
    9. Burcak Polat, 2014. "Determinants of FDI: A Componentwise Analysis," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 0100151, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    10. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2013. "The economics and empirics of tax competition: A survey," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 163, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    11. Regep Horatiu Dan, 2015. "Weak Form Of Market Efficiency - European Capital Market," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 4, pages 202-211, August.
    12. Klaus Regling & Servaas Deroose & Reinhard Felke & Paul Kutos, 2010. "The Euro After Its First Decade : Weathering the Financial Storm and Enlarging the Euro Area," Governance Working Papers 22817, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    13. Petro Borovyk & Volodymyr Slipchenko & Dina Kishchuk, 2016. "Problems of Excise Taxation of the Agrarian Business in Ukraine," Accounting and Finance, Institute of Accounting and Finance, issue 4, pages 87-91, December.
    14. Ines Kersan-Škabić, 2015. "The Importance of Corporate Taxation for FDI Attractiveness of Southeast European Countries," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 62(1), pages 105-122, March.
    15. 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.
    16. Regling, Klaus & Deroose, Servaas & Felke, Reinhard & Kutos, Paul, 2010. "The Euro After Its First Decade: Weathering the Financial Storm and Enlarging the Euro Area," ADBI Working Papers 205, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    17. Dumitriu, Ramona & Stefanescu, Razvan, 2008. "Perceptions of the Foreign Direct Investors on the Romanian Business Environment," MPRA Paper 42088, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Aug 2008.
    18. Robert E. Lipsey, 2006. "Measuring the Impacts of FDI in Central and Eastern Europe," NBER Working Papers 12808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item


    Foreign direct investment; FDI; corporate taxes; sample selection model; profit re-allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • H8 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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