Political Economy

Expropriations, property confiscations and new offshore entities: Evidence from the Panama papers

Using the Panama Papers, we show that the beginning of media reporting on expropriations and property confiscations in a country increases the probability that offshore entities are incorporated by agents from the same country in the same month. This result is robust to the use of country-year fixed effects and the exclusion of tax havens. Further analysis shows that the effect is driven by countries with non-corrupt and effective governments, which supports the notion that offshore entities are incorporated when reasonably well-intended and well-functioning governments become more serious about fighting organized crime by confiscating proceeds of crime.