Does recent empirical evidence support the existence of international corporate tax competition?

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Recent reductions in institutional barriers to international investment have meant that the existence of international corporate tax differentials is now one of the most significant remaining causes of distortion to the optimum global allocation of resources, and hence to international trade. In the debate as to how to reduce such distortion, two main schools of thought have emerged. The first believes that this result can be achieved primarily through the international co-ordination of corporate taxes. To date, efforts in this direction have not made significant progress. The second contends that market forces, through tax competition, will spontaneously reduce international corporate tax differentials. In this article, an analysis of recent trends in corporate tax rates supports this second contention: statutory and effective corporate tax rates are continuing to decline and converge. However, recent tax revenue data give little support for the existence of tax competition; the expected shift in the tax burden from corporate profits onto less mobile factors such as labor has largely failed to materialize. Several explanations for these contrasting findings are outlined and analyzed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-31
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


  • FDI
  • Tax co-ordination
  • Tax competition

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