Impact of subsidiary locations & corporate governance on tax haven utilization
: evidence from developed world multinational enterprises

  • Ali Ahmed

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The objective of this thesis is to provide an empirical contribution to tax havenliterature and improve the understanding of firm behaviour relating to tax havenutilization. The thesis sets out to explore 1) the understudied relationshipbetween corporate governance and tax haven utilization and 2) the hithertounexplained relationship between subsidiary locations of a MultinationalEnterprise and tax haven utilization.This work reviews corporate governance and tax avoidance literature andsynthesizes a theoretical bridge to explain tax haven utilization as a function ofcorporate governance. Two key variables are identified, ownership concentrationand women members of the Board of Directors. Empirical results show negativeeffect of both measures on the likelihood of a firm to own tax haven subsidiaries,confirming the author’s predictions.Secondly, the thesis provides rationale for investigating subsidiary locations andtax haven utilization. The empirical results point to a strong relationship betweenthe two, with evidence suggesting a role of unrecorded capital flight in therelationship. In the larger picture, the findings could point to wealth extraction byDeveloped world multinational enterprises from developing world, oftenvulnerable, countries.
Date of Award2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorYama Temouri (Supervisor) & Chris Jones (Supervisor)


  • tax havens
  • capital flight
  • corporate governance
  • ownership concentration
  • women on board of directors

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