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Corporate Taxes, Profit Shifting and the Location of Intangibles within Multinational Firms

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  • Dischinger, Matthias
  • Riedel, Nadine

Abstract

Intangible assets are one major source of profit shifting opportunities due to a highly intransparent transfer pricing process. Our paper argues that multinational enterprises (MNEs) optimize their profit shifting strategy by locating shifting–relevant intangible property at affiliates with a low statutory corporate tax rate. Using panel data for European MNEs and controlling for unobserved time–constant heterogeneity between affiliates, we find that the lower a subsidiary’s tax rate relative to other affiliates of the multinational group the higher is its level of intangible asset investment. This effect is statistically and economically significant, even after controlling for subsidiary size and accounting for a dynamic intangible investment pattern.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 4450.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:4450

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Keywords: corporate taxation; multinational enterprise; profit shifting; intangible assets; micro level data;

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  16. Dischinger, Matthias, 2007. "Profit Shifting by Multinationals: Indirect Evidence from European Micro Data," Discussion Papers in Economics 2029, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Dischinger, Matthias & Riedel, Nadine, 2011. "Corporate taxes and the location of intangible assets within multinational firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 691-707, August.
  2. John P. Weche Geluebcke, 2011. "Foreign Ownership and Firm Performance in German Services: First Evidence based on Official Statistics," Working Paper Series in Economics 213, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

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