This paper studies the role of profit taxation for an international firm's decision upon how to penetrate a foreign market - through exports or through foreign direct investment (FDI) and local supply. We show that with harmonized taxes the international firm may choose FDI even though this has welfare costs from a global point of view. With tax competition, the host country can enforce exporting instead of FDI. This leads to a Nash equilibrium associated with higher world welfare than harmonized taxes. Thus, because of the effect on entry mode, tax competition provides heretofore unexplored benefits as compared to tax harmonization.
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