Corporate tax havens and transparency

Morten Bennedsen, Stefan Zeume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate shareholders' reactions to the increased transparency of corporate tax haven activities in a hand-collected subsidiary data set covering 17,331 publicly listed firms in 52 countries. An increase in transparency through the staggered signing of bilateral tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) between home countries and tax havens is associated with a 2.5% increase in the value of affected firms. The results are stronger for firms with more complex tax haven structures and weakly governed firms. Furthermore, firms that respond to TIEAs by haven hopping (i.e., they move subsidiaries from affected to nonaffected tax havens) do not experience an increase in firm value. These results are consistent with tax havens being used for expropriation activities that extend beyond pure tax-saving activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1264
Number of pages44
JournalReview of Financial Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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