Does Tax Drive the Headquarters Locations of the World’s Biggest Companies?
30 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2020
Date Written: September 14, 2018
In recent years, policy-makers have given paramount attention to “competitiveness”, working to ensure that domestic economies attract investment, jobs, and tax revenues. Toward this end, countries have steadily lowered corporate tax rates in an attempt to attract mobile international businesses. This paper discusses the desirability of this policy stance in light of data on the world’s biggest companies. Using Forbes lists of the top “Global 2000” companies over the period 2003–2017, the paper analyzes companies’ headquarters locations, focusing on economic, geographic, and policy determinants. The paper then relates these findings to larger policy questions.
Keywords: multinational corporations, headquarters, international taxation, tax competition
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