Transnational Corporations

This journal takes a fresh look at major legal, sectorial, regional and environmental issues facing corporations operating internationally. Released three times a year, it provides in-depth policy-oriented research findings on significant issues relating to the activities of transnational corporations.


Does tax drive the headquarters locations of the world’s biggest companies?

In recent years, policy-makers have given paramount attention to “competitiveness”, working to ensure that domestic economies attract investment, jobs, and tax revenues. Toward this end, countries have steadily lowered corporate tax rates in an attempt to attract mobile international businesses. This paper discusses the desirability of this policy stance in light of data on the world’s biggest companies. Using Forbes lists of the top “Global 2000” companies over the period 2003–2017, the paper analyzes companies’ headquarters locations, focusing on economic, geographic, and policy determinants. The paper then relates these findings to larger policy questions.


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