The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper explores how the tax treatment of investment and savings affects international capital flows as well as national and global welfare. Focusing on portfolio investment, it evaluates the international effects of capital income taxes in the United States and Japan. During the 1980s, these taxes encouraged capital flows to the United States both by favoring investment in that country and by harming the country’s relative savings performance. The paper concludes that the internationalization of financial markets calls for a careful study of the international implications of domestic tax policies.