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Tax Incentives and the Location of FDI: Evidence from a Panel of German Multinationals

  • Büttner, Thiess
  • Ruf, Martin

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 %.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 04-76.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:2364
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  1. Hines, J.R. & Rice, E.M., 1990. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens And American Business," Papers 56, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  2. Ruud A. de Mooij & Sjef Ederveen, 2001. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," CESifo Working Paper Series 588, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  4. James R. Hines Jr., 1993. "Altered States: Taxes and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in America," NBER Working Papers 4397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  6. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Falko Fecht & Kevin X.D. Huang & Antoine Martin, 2007. "Financial Intermediaries, Markets, and Growth," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0714, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  9. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  10. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  11. Hamerle, Alfred & Liebig, Thilo & Scheule, Harald, 2004. "Forecasting Credit Portfolio Risk," Discussion Paper Series 2: Banking and Financial Studies 2004,01, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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