On March 6, 2015, the Department of Economics hosted Dr. Ian Wooton, from the University of Strathclyde, to present his paper “Does tax competition make mobile firms more footloose?”—joint with Doctors Ferrett and Hoefele of Loughborough University. The paper examined a regional model where the economic geography evolves, giving the firm an incentive to relocate. It showed that government competition for FDI leads the firm to make efficient location choices, such that it is more likely to relocate in the absence of international rivalry. This is because the national tax/subsidy offers absorb some of the firm’s relocation costs.
Dr. Wooton is Professor of Economics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. He studied at the University of St Andrews and Columbia University, and previously held posts at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Glasgow. He has been a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research since 1994. He is an established authority in international economics and has published widely in the area. Together with Professor Joe Francois of Erasmus University, he established the European Trade Study Group, now the major annual international trade conference in the world. He is a former Associate Editor of the Journal of International Economics and has acted as consultant to national and international agencies including the World Bank, the European Commission, and HM Treasury.