Tax and Non-Tax Incentives and Investments: Evidence and Policy Implications

FIAS, The World Bank Group, 2009

50 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2010 Last revised: 24 Mar 2010

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of Tax Incentives in promoting investment, their effectiveness and their revenue and other costs and political economy. The paper consolidates econometric work on the topic done by the authors covering the Caribbean, Francophone Africa and India; surveys of Investors in Jordan, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Serbia; and literature review. Building on existing literature on the subject and country experience with Incentives, the paper then examines the role of Investment Climate on the effectiveness of Incentives. Using cross-country data the paper finds that fiscal Incentives are particularly ineffective in attracting Investment in countries with poor Investment Climate. This is striking because it broadly supports country experience with incentives having been used successfully to encourage investment in some countries while failing in others. Very recent evidence suggests that governance has a similar effect with low tax rates being more effective in attracting foreign investments in better governed countries. Both these point to the importance a strong Investment Climate as well as strong institutions as a pre-requisite for the effectiveness of any investment promotion scheme using Incentives. The policy implications for a sound Incentive policy as well as the management and administration of Incentives are discussed.

Keywords: Tax Incentives, Tax Policy, Tax Administration, Political Economy

JEL Classification: E62, H2, K34, F21, H25, H32, O23, H87

Suggested Citation

James, Sebastian, Tax and Non-Tax Incentives and Investments: Evidence and Policy Implications (December 1, 2009). FIAS, The World Bank Group, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1540074

Sebastian James (Contact Author)

World Bank Group ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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