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Limiting Profit Shifting in a Model with Heterogeneous Firm Productivity

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  • Langenmayr, Dominika

Abstract

This paper analyzes measures that limit firms’ profit shifting activities in a model that incorporates heterogeneous firm productivity and monopolistic competition. Such measures, e.g. thin capitalization rules, have become increasingly widespread as governments have reacted to growing profit shifting activities of multinational companies. However, besides limiting profit shifting, such rules entail costs. As the regulations can only focus on the means to shift profits, not on profit shifting itself, they impose costs on all firms, no matter whether these firms shift profits abroad or not. In the model, these costs force some firms to exit the market. Thus, as this makes the remaining firms more profitable, regulations to limit profit shifting may even increase the aggregate amount of profits shifted abroad. From a welfare point of view, it may even be optimal no to limit profit shifting at all.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 12419.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:12419

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Keywords: profit shifting; heterogeneous firms; tax competition;

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  1. Schreiber, Ulrich & Overesch, Michael & Büttner, Thiess & Wamser, Georg, 2006. "The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals? Financing and Investment Decisions," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-68, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Stefan Homburg, 2007. "Germany's Company Tax Reform Act of 2008," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(4), pages 591-612, December.
  3. Krautheim, Sebastian & Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2011. "Heterogeneous firms, 'profit shifting' FDI and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 122-133, February.
  4. Ronald B. Davies & Carsten Eckel, 2007. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2007-6, University of Oregon Economics Department.
  5. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2009. "Tax Competition with Heterogeneous Firms," Discussion Paper Series 237, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  6. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2009. "Profit shifting in the EU: evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 281-297, June.
  8. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Baldwin, Richard & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2009. "Tax reform, delocation and heterogeneous firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7340, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Michael Overesch & Georg Wamser, 2010. "Corporate tax planning and thin-capitalization rules: evidence from a quasi-experiment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 563-573.
  11. Harry Huizinga & Luc Laeven, 2006. "International profit shifting within multinationals: a multi-country perspective," European Economy - Economic Papers 260, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  12. Peter Egger & Wolfgang Eggert & Hannes Winner, 2007. "Saving Taxes Through Foreign Plant Ownership," CESifo Working Paper Series 1887, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. James R. Hines, Jr. & Eric M. Rice, 1990. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," NBER Working Papers 3477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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