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Measuring The Location Of Production In A World Of Intangible Productive Assets, Fdi, And Intrafirm Trade

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  • Robert E. Lipsey

Abstract

As production comes to depend more on intangible productive assets, the location of production by multinational firms becomes increasingly ambiguous. The reason is that, within the firm, these assets have no clear geographical location, but only a nominal location determined by the firm's tax or legal strategies. The effects of these location ambiguities, and the resulting distortions for tax reasons of the location of production, are described. It is estimated that for U.S. firms' affiliates in a few tax havens alone, the exaggeration of value added in those locations amounted, in 2005, to about 4 percent of worldwide affiliate sales, and the exaggeration of sales to about 10 percent of worldwide affiliate sales. Some possibilities for estimating the location of production that could supersede the present dependence on accounting measures distorted by tax-saving policies are described. Copyright 2010 The Author. Journal compilation International Association for Research in Income and Wealth 2010.

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Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income and Wealth.

Volume (Year): 56 (2010)
Issue (Month): s1 (06)
Pages: S99-S110

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:56:y:2010:i:s1:p:s99-s110

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  1. James R. Hines Jr., 2005. "Do Tax Havens Flourish?," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19, pages 65-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fuest, Clemens & Hemmelgarn, Thomas & Ramb, Fred, 2006. "How would formula apportionment in the EU affect the distribution and the size of the corporate tax base? An analysis based on German multinationals," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,20, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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Cited by:
  1. Godart, Olivier & Görg, Holger & Greenaway, David, 2012. "Domestic Multinationals, Foreign Affiliates, and Labour Demand Elasticities," IZA Discussion Papers 7061, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kleinert, Jörn & Martin, Julien & Toubal, Farid, 2012. "The Few Leading The Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement," CEPR Discussion Papers 9129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Griffith, Rachel & Miller, Helen & O'Connell, Martin, 2011. "Corporate taxes and the location of intellectual property," CEPR Discussion Papers 8424, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Escaith, Hubert, 2008. "Measuring trade in value added in the new industrial economy: statistical implications," MPRA Paper 14454, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Lee G. Branstetter & C. Fritz Foley & James Harrigan & J. Bradford Jensen & Lori Kletzer & Catherine Mann & Peter K. Schott & Greg C. Wright, 2010. "Report on the State of Available Data for the Study of International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 16254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alice O. Nakamura & Leonard I. Nakamura & Masao Nakamura, 2012. "Building the Innovation Union: Lessons from the 2008 Financial Crisis," Working Papers 12-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  7. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2012. "Financial flows, financial crises, and global imbalances," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 469-480.
  8. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2014. "Do intangible assets explain high U.S. foreign direct investment returns?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 159-171.

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