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«Der Open-Access-Publikationsserver der ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft The Open Access Publication Server of the ZBW – Leibniz ...»

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Small countries, high growth rates, and federal structure with high tax autonomy stand for countries that offer lower tax burdens, especially on companies. As examples for this group of countries we can identify e. g. Ireland and Switzerland, however, each with certain limitations. Most new EU member states follow a strategy of taxing companies comparatively low, but offer only an average tax climate for highly skilled employees. Large countries, representative democracies with coalition governments, and a high preference for redistribution are likely to induce higher tax burdens on both highly qualified employees and companies and thus are less attractive locations for an investment from a tax perspective. As typical examples for this group of countries, we identify Germany, France, and Italy. The low tax rates for the highly skilled in the United States therefore stand for her plurality system, her federal structure, and a population with low preference for redistribution. Due to her size the United States do not need to tax companies at low rates.

Future research aims at further examining, and substantiating, these conclusions. As an example for such an extension, an analysis of the taxation of highly qualified expatriate staff might be of interest. Indeed, the growing number of countries offering special tax regimes for such employees supports the hypothesis that many countries pursue a strategy to tax mobile factors low and immobile factors high. With an increasing number of international assignments, the potential impact of these special tax regimes on the investment decisions of companies offers a promising field for future research.


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