Mihir A. Desai & James R. Hines, Jr., "Basket" Cases: International Joint Ventures after the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (Nat’l Bureau of Econ. Rsch., Working Paper No. w5755, 1996).
Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA) on international joint ventures by American firms. The evidence suggests that the TRA had a significant effect on the organizational form of U.S. business activity abroad. The TRA mandates the use of separate credits on income received from foreign corporations owned 50% or less by Americans. This limitation on worldwide averaging greatly reduces the attractiveness of joint ventures to American investors, particularly ventures in low-tax foreign countries. Aggregate data indicate that U.S. participation in international joint ventures fell sharply after 1986. The decline in U.S. joint venture activity is most pronounced in low-tax countries, which is consistent with the incentives created by the TRA. Moreover, joint ventures in low-tax countries use more debt and pay greater royalties to their U.S. parents after 1986, which reflects their incentives to economize on dividend payments.