Davies, Ronald B.
Davies, Ronald B.
Davies, Ronald B.
Now showing 1 - 10 of 43
- PublicationHow far away is an intangible? Services FDI and distance(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2011-09)
;Foreign direct investment (FDI) in services has grown significantly in recent years. Evidence of spatial relationships in FDI decisions have been provided for goods manufacturing by utilizing physical distance-based measures of trade costs. This paper investigates spatial interactions for services FDI using several distance measures, including physical distance, genetic distance, and transport time. Across different measures of distance, the traditional determinants of outbound FDI activity remain valid for services. We also find spatial interdependence for services FDI that is generally supportive of complex vertical motivations. 1625
- PublicationGreenfield FDI and skill upgrading(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2012-03)
;Globalisation is one of the primary accused culprits of growing income inequality in the developed world. In particular, outbound foreign direct investment (FDI) is often associated with general “skill upgrading" in the home country, that is, a shift in relative labour demand from low skilled workers towards more skilled workers. Nevertheless, the empirical evidence indicates that such effects are small at best, especially in contrast to those for overall trade in intermediates (which includes both intra-firm trade and foreign outsourcing). In response, we utilise a proprietary dataset on greenfield FDI. In contrast to M&A FDI, which can represent acquisition of new technologies or elimination of competitors, greenfield FDI may be more closely linked to skill upgrading, especially when its done to take advantage of international differences in factor prices. Given that our data delineate FDI by function as well as by destination country, we are able to capture the different motives of FDI and to account for the fact that different functions in different countries may substitute for different skill levels at home. Using these data in conjunction with industry-level data on seventeen developed home countries, we find that greenfield FDI results in polarised skill upgrading, i.e. an increase in the relative share of employment and compensation of the most skilled workers to the detriment of the medium skilled workers. This impact is strongest for support services (e.g. call centres), knowledge services (e.g. R&D), and retail FDI with little indication of an impact from FDI in other functions. Our estimates suggest that the change in the high skilled compensation share explained by support services is of the same order of magnitude as what is found in other studies for trade in services. Unlike those studies, however, we find that demand for medium skilled workers falls from outbound FDI whereas that of the lowest skilled workers remains unchanged. Thus, in contrast to overall trade in services where globalisation leads to increased income inequality between the lowest skilled workers and other groups, increased outbound FDI leads to an increased gap between the most skilled and the moderately skilled workers. FDI then has parallels to the results from the labour literature estimating the non-monotonic impacts on the demand for skills of computerisation and service offshoring. 300
- PublicationThe Glass Border: Gender and Exporting in Developing Countries(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2015-11)
;Using firm level data across 99 developing and transition economies, we explore the productivity differences between firms depending on their export status and the gender of their owners. We find that female-owned exporters have roughly half the exporter productivity premium of comparable male firms. This is particularly true for larger firms, suggesting that this difference may reflect greater difficulty in implementing learning by exporting for female-owned firms. Nevertheless, we also find evidence consistent with selection into exporting where female-owned firms face relatively higher export costs. Together, these point to significant discrimination barriers female firms face when exporting. 478
- PublicationFrom China with Love: The Role of FDI from Third Countries on EU Competition and R&D Activities(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2018-07)This report presents empirical analysis on the linkage between mergers and acquisition FDI and acquirer innovation efforts. The data indicates that acquisitions tend to result in a spike in research in the two following years. This impact, however, is contingent on industrial linkages between target and acquirer. In particular, nonmanufacturing targets appear to have the largest impact. Further investigation using input-output linkages finds that acquirer R&D increases more when the target is a primary source of inputs for the acquirer. These effects, however, are smaller for Chinese acquirers, suggesting that concerns over whether acquisition of foreign technology is spurring faster Chinese technological growth may be misguided. Finally, these effects are smaller in more concentrated industries, suggesting the need to consider industry concentration when projecting the R&D implications of cross-border mergers.
- PublicationKnocking on Tax Haven’s Door: Multinational Firms and Transfer Pricing(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2014-12)
; ; ;This paper analyzes the transfer pricing of multinational firms. We propose a simple framework in which intra-firm prices may systematically deviate from arm’s length prices for two motives: i) pricing to market, and ii) tax avoidance. Multinational firms may decide not to avoid taxes if the risk to be sanctioned is high compared to the tax gap. Using detailed French firm-level data on arm’s length and intra-firm export prices, we find that both mechanisms are at work. The sensitivity of intra-firm prices to foreign taxes is reinforced once we control for pricing-to-market determinants. Most importantly, we find almost no evidence of tax avoidance if we disregard exports to tax havens. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that tax avoidance through transfer pricing amounts to about 1% of the total corporate taxes collected by tax authorities in France. The lion’s share of this loss is driven by the exports of 450 firms to ten tax havens. As such, it may be possible to achieve significant revenue increases with minimal cost by targeting enforcement. 961
- PublicationThe Structure of Multinational Firms' International Activities(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2020-02-15)
;The structure of a multinational firm, that is how its affiliates relate to one another, is critical for understanding where multinationals locate, how policy affects them, and their resilience to localized shocks. Here, we review the two main structures – market-seeking horizontal and cost-difference exploiting vertical investment – prevalent in the literature. In addition, we use data (primarily from the US) to examine which of these structures seems to dominate the data. This includes a novel use of measures of global value chain positioning of a country's industries. In each case, the data suggests a dominant role for horizontal investment. We conclude with a discussion of the challenge that intangibles play in multinational data and point towards potentially fertile areas for future research. 245
- PublicationThe Heterogeneous Impact of Brexit: Early Indications from the FTSE(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2017-05)
;The UK's decision to leave the EU is surrounded by several studies simulating its potential effects. Alternatively, we examine expectations embodied in stock returns using a two-part estimation process. While most firms' prices fell, there was considerable heterogeneity in their relative changes. We show that this heterogeneity can be explained by the firm's global value chain, with heavily European firms doing relatively worse. For firms with few imported intermediates, this was partially offset by a greater Sterling depreciation. These changes were primarily in the first two days and highly persistent. Understanding these movements gives a better understanding Brexit's potential effects. 735
- PublicationEconomic Integration and the Optimal Corporate Tax Structure with Heterogeneous Firms(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2011-08)
; ;We study the optimal combination of corporate tax rate and tax base in a model of a small open economy with heterogeneous firms. We show that it is optimal for the small country's government to effectively subsidize capital inputs by granting a tax allowance in excess of the true costs of capital. Economic integration reduces the optimal capital subsidy and drives low-productivity firms from the small country's home market, replacing them with high-productivity exporters from abroad. This endogenous policy response creates a selection effect that increases the average productivity of home firms when trade barriers fall, in addition to the well-known direct effects. 291
- PublicationPennies from Haven: Wages and Profit Shifting(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2022-02-16)
; ; ;Increasing attention has been given to the fact that some multinational enterprises shift income to tax haven countries, an activity that generates inequality in corporate taxation. Here, we examine how profit shifting relates to wage inequality. Using rich matched employer-employee data from Norway, we find that profit-shifting firms pay higher wages, particularly among service firms where the wage premium is approximately 2%. Furthermore, this average effect masks significant within-firm heterogeneity with high-skill occupations – and managers in particular – earning higher shifting wage premiums. CEOs particularly gain, with their wages rising nearly 10%. These results thus suggest that profit shifting by multinationals meaningfully contributes to wage inequality, both between and within firms. Finally, our back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest these higher wages would generate additional income tax revenues which would offset around 3% of the fall in Norway’s corporate tax revenues due to profit shifting. 87
- PublicationLocation Decisions of Non-Bank Financial Foreign Direct Investment: Firm-Level Evidence from Europe(University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2015-11)
;The non-bank financial sector in the euro area has more than doubled in size over the last decade reflecting the substantial growth in shadow banking activities. However, a large proportion of the non-bank financial sector remains unmapped as granular balance sheet information is not available for almost half of the sector. Motivated by these data gaps and employing firm-level data, this paper examines the location decisions of newly incorporated foreign affiliates in the non-bank financial sector across 27 European countries over the period 2004 to 2012. The probability of a country being chosen as the location for a new foreign affiliate is found to be negatively associated with higher corporate tax rates and geographic distance but increases with the size and financial development of the host country. The financial regulatory regime in the host country and gravity related controls such as the home and host country sharing a common legal system, language, border and currency are also found to impact the likelihood of non-bank financial FDI. 402