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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. Peter Egger & Wolfgang Eggert & Hannes Winner, 2007. "Saving Taxes Through Foreign Plant Ownership," CESifo Working Paper Series 1887, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2009. "Tax Reform, Delocation, and Heterogeneous Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 741-764, December.
  3. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2008. "International profit shifting within multinationals: A multi-country perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1164-1182, June.
  4. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Davies, Ronald B. & Eckel, Carsten, 2010. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," Munich Reprints in Economics 20021, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Hines, James R, Jr & Rice, Eric M, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-82, February.
  7. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2009. "Tax Competition with Heterogeneous Firms," Discussion Paper Series 237, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  8. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  9. Thiess Büttner & Michael Overesch & Ulrich Schreiber & Georg Wamser, 2006. "The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals’ Financing and Investment Decisions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1817, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Krautheim, Sebastian & Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2011. "Heterogeneous firms, ‘profit shifting’ FDI and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 122-133.
  11. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2009. "Profit shifting in the EU: evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 281-297, June.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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