Corporate Taxation as a Determinant of Foreign Direct Investment in the European Union
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Publication date: 2013-03-31
GNPJE 2013;262(3):37-55
The paper analyzes the impact of corporate tax rate differentials between countries on foreign direct investment in European Union countries using panel data on bilateral FDI flows. The author’s research assumptions are that foreign direct investment responds to tax rate differentials between countries and that taxation has a negative impact on FDI, which means that lower tax rates attract FDI. The article examines the relationship between corporate taxation and FDI using data for all 27 EU member countries over the period 1998-2009. The econometric analysis is based on an augmented gravity model. The empirical results indicate that the reaction of foreign direct investment to forward-looking effective tax rate differentials between countries is negative. This outcome implies that lowering effective tax rates in the host country relative to the investing country increases net FDI outflows from the home country. However, such a relationship between corporate taxation and FDI is not confirmed by empirical evidence for the statutory tax rate. This may suggest that, in their location decisions, investors take into account the effective indicators of the corporate tax burden, which depends not only on the statutory tax rate but also on other aspects of the tax system determining the amount of tax paid, the author concludes.
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