Working Paper Series
The International Mobility of Billionaires
Abstract: Relying on Forbes Magazine annual rankings for two
decades, 1625 billionaires and their countries of birth and residence are
identified, most of whom are self-made entrepreneurs. 13 percent of
billionaires reside in a country other than that of their birth. Migration
is linked to distance, to cultural ties and to the per capita income of the
respective source and host country. Capital taxes have a statistically
significant though economically modest effect. 80 percent of those who
moved migrated from a lower per capita income to a higher per capita income
country and 70 percent from a higher tax country to a lower tax country.
Self-made billionaires are more likely to move to countries with larger
market sizes. Overall surprisingly few billionaire entrepreneurs migrate.
Previous research has found that self-employed tend to work in their home
community at higher rates than employees. Entrepreneurship too appears to
be local, with private equity be characterized by a home bias. One
explanation may be the wide dispersion and local nature of information as
emphasized by Hayek.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Migration; Taxes; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: F22; H20; L26; (follow links to similar papers)
9 pages, March 6, 2012, Revised December 2, 2014
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Full text versions of the paper:
- This paper is published as:
Sanandaji, Tino, (2014), 'The International Mobility of Billionaires', Small Business Economics, Vol. 42, No. 2, pages 329-338
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