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The Effects of Taxation on the Location Decision of Multinational Firms: M&a Versus Greenfield Investments

Shafik Hebous (), Martin Ruf and Alfons Weichenrieder ()

National Tax Journal, 2011, vol. 64, issue 3, 817-38

Abstract: In this study, we estimate the impact of differences in international tax rates on the probability of choosing a location for an affiliate of a multinational firm. In particular, we distinguish between the tax sensitivity of Greenfield and Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) investments. Based on a novel firm-level dataset on German outbound foreign direct investment (FDI), we find evidence that location decisions of M&A investments are less sensitive to differences in tax rates than location decisions of Greenfield investments. According to our logit estimates, after controlling for firm and country-specific characteristics, the tax elasticity for Greenfield investments is negative and in absolute value significantly larger than that associated with M&A investments. This finding is consistent with (partial) capitalization of taxes in the acquisition price when the FDI project takes the form of a M&A.

Date: 2011
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