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Profit Shifting by Multinationals and the Ownership Share: Evidence from European Micro Data

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  • Dischinger, Matthias
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    Abstract

    We provide indirect empirical evidence of profit shifting behavior by multinational enterprises (MNEs) employing a panel study for the years 1995 to 2005, while controlling for unobservable fixed firm effects. We use a large micro database of European MNEs which includes detailed accounting and ownership information. Our results show a strongly negative relationship between an affiliated company's statutory corporate tax rate difference to its foreign parent firm and the affiliate's gross profits. Quantitatively, a 10 percentage points decrease in the tax rate of the affiliate (relative to the parent) increases its pre-tax profitability by 7%, other things being equal. Various robustness checks support this profit shifting inference. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a higher parent's ownership share of its subsidiary leads to intensified shifting activities between these two affiliates.

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    File URL: http://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/5661/1/dischinger_2008_MunichDPupdate.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 5661.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:5661

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    Related research

    Keywords: corporate taxation; multinational enterprise; profit shifting; share ownership ratio; micro level data;

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    References

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    1. Clemens Fuest, 2008. "The European Commission's proposal for a common consolidated corporate tax base," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 720-739, winter.
    2. 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.
    3. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2007. "Profit Shifting in the EU: Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 2043, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Jack M. Mintz & Michael Smart, 2001. "Income Shifting, Investment, and Tax Competition: Theory and Evidence from Provincial Taxation in Canada," International Tax Program Papers 0402, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Apr 2003.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Transfer Pricing by U.S.-Based Multinational Firms," NBER Working Papers 12493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. John W. Budd & Jozef Konings & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2002. "Wages and International Rent Sharing in Multinational Firms," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 522, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. Grubert, Harry, 2003. "Intangible Income, Intercompany Transactions, Income Shifting, and the Choice of Location," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 221-42, March.
    8. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2007. "Quality versus Quantity – The Composition Effect of Corporate Taxation on Foreign Direct Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2126, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Cited by:
    1. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest & Nadine Riedel, 2010. "Corporate tax effects on the quality and quantity of FDI," Working Papers 1013, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    2. Dischinger, Matthias & Riedel, Nadine, 2010. "The Role of Headquarters Firms in Multinational Profit Shifting Strategies," Discussion Papers in Economics 11352, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    3. Matthias Dischinger & Nadine Riedel, 2010. "The Role of Headquarters in Multinational Profit Shifting Strategies," Working Papers 1003, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.

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