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External and Internal Pricing in Multidivisional Firms

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  • TIM BALDENIUS
  • STEFAN REICHELSTEIN

Abstract

Multidivisional firms frequently rely on external market prices in order to value internal transactions across profit centers. This paper examines market-based transfer pricing when an upstream division has monopoly power in selling a proprietary component both to a downstream division within the same firm and to external customers. When internal transfers are valued at the prevailing market price, the resulting transactions are distorted by double marginalization. The imposition of intracompany discounts will always improve overall firm profits provided the supplying division is capacity constrained. Under certain conditions it is then possible to design discount rules so that the resulting prices and sales quantities are efficient from the corporate perspective. In contrast, the impact of intracompany discounts remains ambiguous when the capacity of the selling division is essentially unlimited. It is then generally impossible to achieve fully efficient outcomes by means of market-based transfer pricing unless the external market for the component is sufficiently large relative to the internal market. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Accounting Research.

Volume (Year): 44 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 1-28

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Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:44:y:2006:i:1:p:1-28

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Cited by:
  1. Martini, Jan Thomas & Niemann, Rainer & Simons, Dirk, 2007. "Transfer pricing or formula apportionment? Tax-induced distortions of multinationals' investment and production decisions," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 27, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  2. Jan Thomas Martini & Rainer Niemann & Dirk Simons, 2007. "Transfer Pricing or Formula Apportionment? Tax-Induced Distortions of Multinationals’ Investment and Production Decisions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2020, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Choe, Chongwoo & Matsushima, Noriaki, 2013. "The arm's length principle and tacit collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 119-130.
  4. A. Lemus & Diego Moreno, 2011. "The non-neutrality of the arm's length principle with imperfect competition," Economics Working Papers we1134, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  5. Nathan Berg & Chun-Yu Chen & Barry J. Seldon, 2014. "Strategic Transfer Pricing and Intensity of Competition," Working Papers 1403, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2014.
  6. Kenji Matsui, 2012. "Auditing internal transfer prices in multinationals under monopolistic competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(6), pages 800-818, December.
  7. Barick Chung & Eric Rasmusen, 2008. "Price Discrimination between Retailers with and without Market Power," Working Papers 2008-14, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  8. Pfeiffer, Thomas & Wagner, Joachim, 2007. "Internal markets or hierachies: Transfer prices or budgets?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 241-255.

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