James R. Hines Jr.
Born (1958-07-09) July 9, 1958 (age 65)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Academic career
InstitutionsUniversity of Michigan
Harvard University
FieldPublic economics
Alma materYale University (BSc, MSc)
Harvard University (PhD)
Lawrence Summers
AwardsDaniel M. Holland Medal, National Tax Association (2017)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc
WebsiteJames R. Hines Jr.

James R. Hines Jr. (born July 9, 1958) is an American economist and a founder of academic research into corporate-focused tax havens, and the effect of U.S. corporate tax policy on the behaviors of U.S. multinationals. His papers were some of the first to analyse profit shifting, and to establish quantitative features of tax havens. Hines showed that being a tax haven could be a prosperous strategy for a jurisdiction, and controversially, that tax havens can promote economic growth. Hines showed that use of tax havens by U.S. multinationals had maximized long-term U.S. exchequer tax receipts, at the expense of other jurisdictions. Hines is the most cited author on the research of tax havens, and his work on tax havens was relied upon by the CEA when drafting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.


James Hines was born in Chicago in 1958. He went to Yale University for his B.Sc and M.Sc in 1980. He completed his PhD in Harvard University in 1986. After various teaching and research posts in Princeton University and Harvard University, in 1997 he became Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan. Hines is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a research director of the International Tax Policy Forum.[1][2]

Hines is the most cited author on research into tax havens, and has co-authored several papers in the § Most important papers on tax havens, including the most cited paper.[3] Hines has testified to Congress on public tax policy on a number of occasions,[4] and is quoted on related issues by the financial media, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 ("TCJA").[5][6][7]

Tax haven research

Hines-Rice paper

In February 1994, Hines and his Harvard PhD student, Eric M. Rice, published their 1990 National Bureau of Economic Research ("NBER") working paper (No. 3477), in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, on the use of tax havens by U.S. multinationals, which contained a number of important findings.[8][9]

  1. Base erosion and profit shifting ("BEPS"). Hines-Rice showed U.S. multinationals were using non-traditional tax havens, like Ireland and Singapore, that had large networks of tax treaties (which traditional tax havens are restricted from having), enabling them to avoid corporate taxes in all jurisdictions that had tax treaties with the haven, by a technique they called profit shifting;[10]
  2. Corporate tax havens. Hines-Rice noted that several of the most favoured locations for U.S. multinationals, such as Ireland, had normal headline corporate tax rates, but their tax regimes enabled accounting techniques to produce much lower effective corporate tax rates (e.g. Ireland was the lowest at 4%); these were the little-understood BEPS tools of the emerging corporate tax havens;[11][12]
  3. Definition of a tax haven. Hines-Rice felt the variations between havens was too material for a single definition, beyond a requirement for low effective tax rates; distortions from profit shifting led them to note proxies, including: the GDP-per-capita proxy, and the corporate profitabity proxy;[11] in June 2018, these tools were used to show that Ireland was the largest tax haven;[13][14][15]
  4. U.S. as a beneficiary from tax havens. An unexpected conclusion from Hines-Rice was that: low foreign tax rates [from tax havens] ultimately enhance U.S. tax collections; by paying little/no foreign taxes, U.S. multinationals had avoided building up foreign tax credits; the 15.5% Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 levy would prove this finding again in 2017.[16][17]

The 1994 Hines-Rice paper is recognised as the first important paper into BEPS and tax havens,[10][18] and it is the most cited research paper in history on tax havens.[3] The 1994 Hines-Rice paper has been cited by all subsequent most cited research papers into tax havens, including by Desai,[19] Dharmapala,[20] Slemrod,[21] and Zucman.[13][22]

The two most recent U.S. congressional investigations into tax havens: the 2008 investigation by the Government Accountability Office,[23] and the 2015 investigation by the Congressional Research Service,[24] identify the 1994 Hines-Rice paper as the first credible list of global tax havens, and the first quantitative analysis of what constitutes a tax haven.

Subsequent research

His subsequent 2007–2011 papers on tax havens showed that major tax havens, including Ireland, Singapore, Bermuda, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, were well governed and prosperous economies,[25] from being tax havens: Tax havens are successful players in the world economy.[26][27] He also asserted that tax havens could stimulate economic activity in nearby high-tax countries, by addressing issues in their tax systems,[28][29] however this conclusion has been controversial and has drawn criticism from advocates of tax justice as being supportive of corporate tax avoidance by multinationals.[30][31][32]

While Hines always avoided constructing overly specific or quantitative definitions of a tax haven, because of the variability in the types of economies that he had identified as tax havens, Hines does use a general definition that he employed during research with fellow tax-haven expert, Dhammaka Dharmapala, in 2009:[20]

Tax havens are typically small, well-governed states that impose low or zero tax rates on foreign investors.

— "Multinational Firms and Tax Havens", The Review of Economics and Statistics (2016)[33]

In November 2017, Hines was awarded the Daniel M. Holland Medal by the National Tax Association for his work,[34] the second youngest winner in the medal's history.[35]

In December 2017, his papers were cited by Harvard Professor Mihir A. Desai as ones that: changed the field and provided the roadmap for much of the next thirty years.[34]

Multinational tax research

As well as his work on BEPS and on tax havens, Hines is known for research into how U.S. corporate taxation, and the marginal rate of U.S. corporation tax, drives the behaviours of U.S multinationals. Hines has been a strong advocate of moving the U.S. to a "territorial" tax model.[36] In 2016, Hines, working with German academics, showed that German multinationals make little use of tax havens because the German corporate taxation system follows a "territorial" model.[37] Hines cites the example of Ireland, a country featured on all of Hines' tax haven lists, which has rarely attracted firms from "territorial" taxation systems.

His research in this area was cited, although sometimes controversially so, by the Council of Economic Advisors ("CEA") in drafting the TCJA legislation in 2017;[38] and advocating for reducing U.S. corporate taxes and moving to a hybrid "territorial" tax system framework, in order to drive U.S employment and wage growth.[39]

Hines tax havens

See also: Tax havens § Tax haven lists

Hines-Rice 1994 list

Because it is cited as the first coherent academic list of tax havens, the 41 jurisdictions from Appendix 2 in Hines-Rice (1994) are listed below, in the three sub-categories Hines-Rice used. The 7 major tax havens identified by Hines-Rice, who represent over 89% of tax haven GDP, are marked with a dagger (†).[8]

Hines-Rice note that the U.S. IRS had identified 29 of their list as potential tax havens in 1987:

Hines-Rice note that Beauchamp had identified 7 of their list as potential tax havens in 1983:

Hines-Rice note that Doggart had identified 5 of their list as potential tax havens in 1983:

Hines 2010 list

In a 2010 research paper, Hines produced a revised list of 52 tax havens, and also a method of quantifying and ranking the largest of them (Hines did not rank the whole list).[26] Only two of the ten largest havens in Hines' 2010 list appeared in the OECD's 2000 list of tax havens (by 2017, the OECD list only contained Trinidad & Tobago).[40] A major quantitative study in July 2017 study by the University of Amsterdam's CORPNET group, produced a list of havens that matched nine of the ten largest havens in Hines' list, but split into two types of haven: Conduit and Sinks.[41] Another major quantitative study in June 2018 by Gabriel Zucman (et alia), produced a list whose ten largest havens also matched nine of Hines' top ten havens from 2010.[13] Zucman calculated that Ireland had now become the largest of the ten major havens (Ireland's largest firms, Apple, Google and Facebook were smaller in 2010).[42]

Ten largest havens, as specifically estimated by Hines, from the Hines 2010 list of 52 tax havens:[26]

  1. Luxembourg*‡
  2. Cayman Islands*‡
  3. Ireland*†
  4. Switzerland*†
  5. Bermuda*‡
  6. Hong Kong*‡
  7. Jersey‡Δ
  8. Netherlands*†
  9. Singapore*†
  10. British Virgin Islands*‡Δ

(*) Identified as one of the largest 10 corporate tax havens on the Zucman-Tørsløv-Wier 2018 list in 2018 (Cayman and the British Virgin Islands appear as Caribbean).[13]
(†) Identified as one of the 5 Conduits (Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom), by CORPNET in 2017.
(‡) Identified as one of the largest 5 Sinks (British Virgin Islands, Luxemburg, Hong Kong, Jersey, Bermuda), by CORPNET in 2017.
(Δ) Identified on the first, and the largest, OECD 2000 list of 35 tax havens (the OECD list only contained Trinidad & Tobago by 2017).[40]

The full list of 52 tax havens from the Hines 2010 list, are shown below (Hines did not rank the full list, only the largest):

  1. AndorraΔ
  2. Anguilla‡Δ
  3. Antigua and BarbudaΔ
  4. ArubaΔ
  5. Bahamas‡Δ
  6. Bahrain↕Δ
  7. Barbados↕Δ
  8. Belize‡Δ
  9. Bermuda‡
  10. British Virgin Islands‡Δ
  11. Cayman Islands‡
  12. Cook IslandsΔ
  13. Costa Rica
  14. Cyprus‡
  15. Djibouti
  16. DominicaΔ
  17. Gibraltar‡Δ
  18. Grenada↕Δ
  19. GuernseyΔ
  20. Hong Kong‡
  21. Ireland†
  22. Isle of ManΔ
  23. Jersey‡Δ
  24. Jordan
  25. Lebanon
  26. Liberia‡Δ
  27. Liechtenstein‡Δ
  28. Luxembourg‡
  29. Macao↕
  30. MaldivesΔ
  31. Malta‡
  32. Marshall Islands‡↕Δ
  33. Mauritius‡
  34. Micronesia
  35. Monaco‡Δ
  36. MontserratΔ
  37. Nauru‡Δ
  38. Netherlands† & AntillesΔ
  39. NiueΔ
  40. Panama↕Δ
  41. Samoa‡↕Δ
  42. San Marino
  43. Seychelles‡Δ
  44. Singapore†
  45. St. Kitts and NevisΔ
  46. St. Lucia↕Δ
  47. St. Martin
  48. St. Vincent and the Grendines‡Δ
  49. Switzerland†
  50. TongaΔ
  51. Turks and CaicosΔ
  52. VanuatuΔ

(†) Identified as one of the 5 Conduits by CORPNET in 2017; the above list has 4 of the 5.
(‡) Identified as one of the largest 24 Sinks by CORPNET in 2017; the above list has 21 of the 24.
(↕) Identified on the European Union's first 2017 list of 17 tax havens; the above list contains 8 of the 17.[43]
(Δ) Identified on the first, and the largest, OECD 2000 list of 35 tax havens (the OECD list only contained Trinidad & Tobago by 2017); the above list contains 34 of the 35.[40]


See also


Academic research

The following are the most cited papers on tax havens as ranked on the IDEAS/RePEc economic papers database,[3] of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, over the last 25 years.

As well as being the most cited individual author on tax havens, Hines has authored or co-authored five of the ten most referenced papers on tax havens.[3]

Papers on tax havens, ranked by academic citations, over the last 25 years.[3]
Rank Paper Journal Vol-Issue-Page Author Year
1 Fiscal Paradise: Foreign tax havens and American Business[8] Quarterly Journal of Economics 109 (1) 149-182 James Hines, Eric Rice 1994
2 The demand for tax haven operations[19] Journal of Public Economics 90 (3) 513-531 Mihir A. Desai, C F Foley, James Hines 2006
3 Which countries become tax havens?[20] Journal of Public Economics 93 (9-10) 1058-1068 Dhammika Dharmapala, James Hines 2009
4 The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors?[22] Quarterly Journal of Economics 128 (3) 1321-1364 Gabriel Zucman 2013
5 Tax competition with parasitic tax havens[21] Journal of Public Economics 93 (11-12) 1261-1270 Joel Slemrod, John D. Wilson 2006
6 What problems and opportunities are created by tax havens?[44] Oxford Review of Economic Policy 24 (4) 661-679 Dhammika Dharmapala, James Hines 2008
7 In praise of tax havens: International tax planning and foreign direct investment European Economic Review 54 (1) 82-95 Qing Hong, Michael Smart 2010
8 End of bank secrecy: An Evaluation of the G20 tax haven crackdown American Economic Journal 6 (1) 65-91 Niels Johannesen, Gabriel Zucman 2014
9 Taxing across borders: Tracking personal wealth and corporate profits Journal of Economic Perspectives 28 (4) 121-148 Gabriel Zucman 2014
10 Treasure Islands[26] Journal of Economic Perspectives 24 (4) 103-26 James Hines 2010


  1. ^ "RePec DATABASE: James R. Hines Jr". St. Louis Federal Reserve.
  2. ^ "James R. Hines Jr" (PDF). University of Michigan. May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "RePEc Database of Economic Papers". Federal Reserve of St. Louis. Tax Havens by Most Cited
  4. ^ "James R. Hines Jr". C-SPAN.
  5. ^ "Taxes Are Hard—So Is Pronouncing New Tax Law Acronyms Like FDII". The Wall Street Journal. April 12, 2018.
  6. ^ "Lost in the Tax Debate: Would Growth Benefit?". The Wall Street Journal. October 11, 2017.
  7. ^ "White House says lower corporate tax will lift wages". The Financial Times. October 16, 2017. "Are these fanciful numbers? It is a mistake to dismiss them because everyone agrees the mechanism sounds right," said James Hines, a professor at University of Michigan Law School, whose work is cited by the CEA.
  8. ^ a b c James R. Hines Jr.; Eric M. Rice (February 1994). "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business" (PDF). Quarterly Journal of Economics (Harvard/MIT). 9 (1). We identify 41 countries and regions as tax havens for the purposes of U. S. businesses. Together the seven tax havens with populations greater than one million (Hong Kong, Ireland, Liberia, Lebanon, Panama, Singapore, and Switzerland) account for 80 percent of total tax haven population and 89 percent of tax haven GDP.
  9. ^ "Gimme shelter - A survey of globalisation and tax". The Economist. January 27, 2000.
  10. ^ a b Dhammika Dharmapala (2014). "What Do We Know About Base Erosion and Profit Shifting? A Review of the Empirical Literature". University of Chicago. p. 1. It focuses particularly on the dominant approach within the economics literature on income shifting, which dates back to Hines and Rice (1994) and which we refer to as the "Hines-Rice" approach.
  11. ^ a b Sébastien Laffitte; Farid Toubal (July 2018). "Firms, Trade and Profit Shifting: Evidence from Aggregate Data" (PDF). CESifo Economic Studies: 8. Concerning the characterization of tax havens, we follow the definition proposed by Hines and Rice (1994) which has been recently used by Dharmapala and Hines (2009). A tax haven is defined as a location with low corporate tax rates, banking and business secrecy, advance communication facilities and self-promotion as an offshore financial centre (Hines and Rice, 1994, Appendix 1 p. 175)
  12. ^ "EDITORIAL: The Economics of International Taxation". Tax Foundation. January 22, 2002.
  13. ^ a b c d Gabriel Zucman; Thomas Tørsløv; Ludvig Wier (June 8, 2018). "The Missing Profits of Nations" (PDF). National Bureau of Economic Research.
  14. ^ "Zucman:Corporations Push Profits Into Corporate Tax Havens as Countries Struggle in Pursuit, Gabrial Zucman Study Says". Wall Street Journal. June 10, 2018. Such profit shifting leads to a total annual revenue loss of $200 billion globally
  15. ^ "Ireland is the world's biggest corporate 'tax haven', say academics". Irish Times. June 13, 2018. New Gabriel Zucman study claims State shelters more multinational profits than the entire Caribbean
  16. ^ Scott Dyreng; Bradley P. Lindsey (October 12, 2009). "Using Financial Accounting Data to Examine the Effect of Foreign Operations Located in Tax Havens and Other Countries on US Multinational Firms' Tax Rates". Journal of Accounting Research. 47 (5): 1283–1316. doi:10.1111/j.1475-679X.2009.00346.x. Finally, we find that US firms with operations in some tax haven countries have higher federal tax rates on foreign income than other firms. This result suggests that in some cases, tax haven operations may increase US tax collections at the expense of foreign country tax collections.
  17. ^ "Tax havens benefits spelt out". The Financial Times. November 4, 2009. The [Hines] study said "a large body of economic research over the last 15 years" contradicted the popular view that offshore centres erode tax collections, divert economic activity and otherwise burden nearby high-tax countries.
  18. ^ Vincent Bouvatier; Gunther Capelle-Blancard; Anne-Laure Delatte (July 2017). "Banks in Tax Havens: First Evidence based on Country-by-Country Reporting" (PDF). EU Commission. p. 50. Figure D: Tax Haven Literature Review: A Typology
  19. ^ a b Mihir A.Desai; C Fritz Foley; James R. Hines Jr (2006). "The Demand for Tax Haven Operations". Journal of Public Economics. 9 (3): 513–531. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2005.04.004.
  20. ^ a b c Dhammika Dharmapala; James R. Hines Jr. (2009). "Which countries become tax havens?" (PDF). Journal of Public Economics. 93 (9–10): 1058–1068. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2009.07.005. S2CID 16653726.
  21. ^ a b Joel Slemrod; John D. Wilson (September 6, 2009). "Tax competition with parasitic tax havens" (PDF). Journal of Public Economics.
  22. ^ a b Gabriel Zucman (August 2013). "The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors?". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 128 (3): 1321–1364. CiteSeerX doi:10.1093/qje/qjt012.
  23. ^ "INTERNATIONAL TAXATION: Large U.S. Corporations and Federal Contractors with Subsidiaries in Jurisdictions Listed as Tax Havens or Financial Privacy Jurisdictions" (PDF). Government Accountability Office. December 18, 2008. p. 12. Table 1: Jurisdictions Listed as Tax Havens or Financial Privacy Jurisdictions and the Sources of Those Jurisdictions
  24. ^ Jane Gravelle (January 15, 2015). "Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion". Cornell University. p. 4. Table 1. Countries Listed on Various Tax Haven Lists
  25. ^ "Interview with James R. Hines Jr.: What makes a good tax haven". National Public Radio. March 28, 2013.
  26. ^ a b c d James R. Hines Jr. (2010). "Treasure Islands". Journal of Economic Perspectives. 4 (24): 103–125. Table 1: 52 Tax Havens
  27. ^ James R. Hines Jr. (2005). "Do Tax Havens Flourish" (PDF). Tax Policy and the Economy. 19: 65–99. doi:10.1086/tpe.19.20061896. ABSTRACT: Per capita real GDP in tax haven countries grew at an average annual rate of 3.3 percent between 1982 and 1999, which compares favorably to the world average of 1.4 percent.
  28. ^ James R. Hines Jr. (2007). "Tax Havens" (PDF). The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. There are roughly 45 major tax havens in the world today. Examples include Andorra, Ireland, Luxembourg and Monaco in Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore in Asia, and the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands Antilles, and Panama in the Americas.
  29. ^ "Tax havens and treasure hunts". New York Times. April 11, 2011. Some economists champion tax havens. In an article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives published last fall (also titled "Treasure Islands"), James R. Hines Jr. of the University of Michigan argued that they contribute to financial market competition, encourage investment in high-tax countries and promote economic growth. Like many economists, Professor Hines expresses far more confidence in the market than in the state. He worries more about possible overtaxation than about undertaxation of corporate income. He does not enage with such concepts as "tax justice."
  30. ^ "Jim Hines fails to defend secrecy jurisdictions". Tax Justice Network. March 3, 2010.
  31. ^ Nicholas Shaxson (November 19, 2010). "Tax havens' arguments in their defence – and why they are wrong". First, many these claims rest heavily on work done by James Hines of the University of Michigan and a few others – research that is fatally flawed.
  32. ^ Nicholas Shaxson (April 15, 2016). "Five myths about tax havens". The Washington Post. According to economics professor James Hines, tax havens serve as healthy competition for high-tax countries, nudging them toward less-restrictive financial policy. By providing alternatives to tightly controlled financial sectors, Hines wrote in a 2010 paper, tax havens discourage regulations that act as "a drag on local economies."
  33. ^ James R. Hines Jr.; Anna Gumpert; Monika Schnitzer (2016). "Multinational Firms and Tax Havens". The Review of Economics and Statistics. 98 (4): 713–727. doi:10.1162/REST_a_00591. S2CID 54649623.
  34. ^ a b "James R. Hines Jr., 2017 Holland Award Recipient". National Tax Association. December 2017.
  35. ^ "Jim Hines receives Holland Medal". TaxProf. November 10, 2017.
  36. ^ "Corporations Pressure Congress, White House Over 'Territorial Taxation' Of Offshore Profits". The Huffington Post. September 14, 2011. "We are so out of step with the rest of the world right now. It is important for us to adopt a territorial system," said University of Michigan Law School Professor James Hines.
  37. ^ James R. Hines Jr.; Anna Gumpert; Monika Schnitzer (2016). "Multinational Firms and Tax Havens". The Review of Economics and Statistics. 98 (4): 714. Germany taxes only 5% of the active foreign business profits of its resident corporations. [..] Furthermore, German firms do not have incentives to structure their foreign operations in ways that avoid repatriating income. Therefore, the tax incentives for German firms to establish tax haven affiliates are likely to differ from those of U.S. firms and bear strong similarities to those of other G-7 and OECD firms.
  38. ^ "White House Push to Help Workers Through Corporate Tax Cut Draws Skepticism". New York Times. October 17, 2017. But the CEA did not misinterpret the Desai, Foley, and Hines paper.
  39. ^ "TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT OF 2017 Corporate Tax Reform and Wages: Theory and Evidence" (PDF). whitehouse.gov. October 17, 2017 – via National Archives. Applying Hines and Rice's (1994) findings to a statutory corporate rate reduction of 15 percentage points (from 35 to 20 percent) suggests that reduced profit shifting would result in more than $140 billion of repatriated profit based on 2016 numbers.
  40. ^ a b c "Towards Global Tax Co-operation" (PDF). OECD. April 2000. p. 17. TAX HAVENS: 1.Andorra 2.Anguilla 3.Antigua and Barbuda 4.Aruba 5.Bahamas 6.Bahrain 7.Barbados 8.Belize 9.British Virgin Islands 10.Cook Islands 11.Dominica 12.Gibraltar 13.Grenada 14.Guernsey 15.Isle of Man 16.Jersey 17.Liberia 18.Liechtenstein 19.Maldives 20.Marshall Islands 21.Monaco 22.Montserrat 23.Nauru 24.Net Antilles 25.Niue 26.Panama 27.Samoa 28.Seychelles 29.St. Lucia 30.St. Kitts & Nevis 31.St. Vincent and the Grenadines 32.Tonga 33.Turks & Caicos 34.U.S. Virgin Islands 35.Vanuatu
  41. ^ Javier Garcia-Bernardo; Jan Fichtner; Frank W. Takes; Eelke M. Heemskerk (July 24, 2017). "Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and Sinks in the Global Corporate Ownership Network". Scientific Reports. 7 (6246): 6246. arXiv:1703.03016. Bibcode:2017NatSR...7.6246G. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06322-9. PMC 5524793. PMID 28740120.
  42. ^ "Ireland is the world's biggest corporate 'tax haven', say academics". Irish Times. June 13, 2018. New Gabriel Zucman study claims State shelters more multinational profits than the entire Caribbean
  43. ^ "EU puts 17 countries on blacklist". Financial Times. December 5, 2017. The 17 countries on the European list are American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and the UAE
  44. ^ Dhammika Dharmapala (December 2008). "What Problems and Opportunities are Created by Tax Havens?". Oxford Review of Economic Policy. 24 (4): 3. Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.