Intern - Governance TG, SDTC - 2308

Job Vacancy | Friday, July 15, 2022

"Tax Incentives, Tax Cuts, Fiscal Multipliers, and Foreign Direct investment (FDI) – Literature review and analysis of regional case studies."

There is an extensive debate on the issue of tax cuts/incentives creating investment, jobs, and tax revenues, often raised by economists and private business involved in support of a massive program of tax incentives. They cite literature based on research in developed countries as evidence that the fiscal multiplier is positive for tax cuts (tax cuts generate substantial new investment and economic activity). However, the standard advice based on research of development partners such as IMF & WBG etc. is that tax incentives are seldom effective in attracting FDI and taxes are not the most important determinants of FDI in developing countries. Further, harmful tax competition has driven global tax rates and revenue so low that the recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development “Pillar 2” proposals seek to enforce a global minimum tax across the world.

Hence, we would like an intern to conduct a desk review of the literature on both sides of the argument and summarize the evidence. This will form the basis for future Asia Pacific Tax Hub guidance on the topic, or a more advanced study in the form of a Toolkit/Governance Brief on the subject. A study of 2–3 major developing member countries (DMC) acts granting tax incentives (such as the CREATE, Bhutan’s Fiscal Incentives law, SL’s cuts under the Rajapaksa government) to determine if the promised investment and jobs did materialize will be a component of the study in addition to a literature review.

• Duration: 8 weeks (with a possibility of extension)
• Timing: January 2023

4. LOCATION: ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines (or virtually, depending on prevailing travel restrictions)

A literature review examining the literature on taxes and FDI with a specific focus on DMCs, drawing on country examples and data from the AP region to highlight the lessons to be learnt from both sides of the debate (for and against tax incentives), and a data-based analysis of a few DMCs case studies in the AP region to examine whether the promised FDI and jobs materialize after a program of tax incentives.


Currently enrolled in a Masters or PhD program in economics (or a related field such as public policy with a quantitative focus) with a specialization in public economics/public finance. Knowledge of statistics and econometrics and proficiency in data analysis (especially regression analysis) using Stata, R, MATLAB, SAS, or similar software. Some familiarity with the fields of tax policy, fiscal policy, FDI and economic growth and development will be preferred.

Graduate level classwork in economics required. Proficiency in data analysis using statistical software required. Focus on public finance required in graduate level coursework or related research/work experience required. Work experience or research experience in public finance and econometric modelling is a plus, but not essential.

Upload the following documents in the “Attachments” section of your application:
1. Curriculum vitae (CV)
2. Proof of enrollment to a Masters or PhD program. Inclusive dates should confirm that you will be enrolled during the intended period of assignment.
3. Essay in MS WORD or PDF document, maximum of 1500 words per question. (Please see essay questions below)

(1) Describe one example of your experience that demonstrated your interest in working in ADB.
(2) Highlight your qualifications that will help accomplish this internship assignment (e.g., coursework, research, work experience, etc.).