Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Jorge L. Martinez-Vazquez - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Felix K. Rioja

Third Advisor

Dr. Neven T. Valev

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Mark W. Rider

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Martin F. Grace


Economic integration and mobility of capital have set the ground for a significant competition over resources. Tax competition for internationally mobile tax bases such as foreign direct investments has become an important matter of study. Nevertheless, literature has focused on a regional or geographical neighboring condition competition through taxes. This dissertation aims to test whether tax competition for foreign direct investment has changed its regional characteristic towards a global or world-wide competition. Global or world-wide tax competition can be thought of as uncooperative tax policy reactions between governments of different countries of the world not necessarily near each other geographically, but in similar economic conditions and with the purpose to influence the allocation of mobile tax bases world-wide. For the purpose of this study, export oriented foreign capital investment was referred to as the internationally mobile tax base. A theoretical model was constructed allowing for three countries, geographical distance, transportation costs, labor and technology skills, as well as four types of individuals: workers, capitalists, and two types of entrepreneurs. Optimal corporate statutory and average effective tax rates were obtained in order to serve as reaction functions between governments and evaluate the presence of tax competition. A spatial econometric model was used to estimate the empirical approximation of the theoretical model. Four types of weight matrixes were computed: homogeneous weights, similar economic conditions, similar transportation costs from the FDI host country to the FDI home country, and neighboring conditions of FDI host countries. The sample covered 53 countries from different areas of the world from 1984 to 2002. Regarding the data, several variables were constructed, among those: the corporate average effective tax rate. The statutory corporate tax rate was discarded since it misses important factors for capital investment such as tax holidays and depreciation schedules. The principal result suggests that countries from the sample appear to behave in a tax competitive way not only in geographical neighboring terms but also in a global or world-wide approach. In fact, countries appear to compete in a stronger way in global or world-wide terms than when assuming a regional or neighboring condition.

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