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Intrafirm trade, taxation and transfer pricing: evidence from French data

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  • S. QUANTIN

    (Insee)

  • S. RASPILLER

    (DGTPE)

  • S. SERRAVALLE

    (DGTPE)

Abstract

An important share of international exchanges take place within multinational firms, according to internal transfer prices. These prices can be influenced by cross-country differences in corporate taxation. A multinational group can reduce its global fiscal burden through overpricing of goods moving from low-tax to hight tax-countries. Several studies confirm such an influence, most of them on American data. This paper aims at providing insights about the French case, characterized by a relatively high level of corporate taxation. The empirical analysis is based on a survey which provides micro-data on the intra-firm trade of French affiliates of multinational firms and therefore enables to investigate to which extent international differences in company taxation influence the pricing of intra-firm transactions. Our main result indicates that a statutory corporate income tax rate in the foreign country one percentage point higher is associated with an (standardized) intra-firm trade balance relative to this country that is almost two percentage points higher.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE in its series Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE with number g2009-07.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:crs:wpdeee:g2009-07

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Related research

Keywords: transfer pricing; corporate income tax; intra-firm trade; multinational firms;

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References

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  1. Swenson, Deborah L., 2001. "Tax Reforms and Evidence of Transfer Pricing," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 7-26, March.
  2. Bartelsman, Eric J & Beetsma, Roel, 2000. "Why Pay More? Corporate Tax Avoidance Through Transfer Pricing in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 2543, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2007. "International Profit Shifting within European Multinationals," CEPR Discussion Papers 6048, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Networks versus Markets in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 5617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter Schott, 2008. "Transfer Pricing by U.S.-Based Multinational Firms," Working Papers 08-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Harry Grubert & Timothy Goodspeed & Deborah L. Swenson, 1993. "Explaining the Low Taxable Income of Foreign-Controlled Companies in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 237-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. S. Raspiller & P. Sillard, 2004. "Affiliating versus Subcontracting: the Case of Multinationals," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2004-09, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  8. Overesch, Michael, 2006. "Transfer pricing of intrafirm sales as a profit shifting channel: evidence from German firm data," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-84, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Grubert, Harry & Mutti, John, 1991. "Taxes, Tariffs and Transfer Pricing in Multinational Corporate Decision Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 285-93, May.
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