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The Impact of Transfer Pricing on Intrafirm Trade

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  • Kimberly A. Clausing
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    Abstract

    Using data on the operations of U.S. parent firms and their foreign affiliates between 1982 and 1994, this paper examines the extent to which tax minimizing behavior influences intrafirm trade. The results indicate that taxes have a substantial influence on intrafirm trade flows between U.S. parent firms and their affiliates abroad; the United States has less favorable intrafirm trade balances with low tax countries. This result is anticipated if U.S. sales to affiliates in low tax countries are underpriced and U.S. purchases from affiliates in high tax countries are overpriced. Taxes are also shown to have an influence on intrafirm trade flows between different foreign affiliates of U.S. firms.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6688.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6688.

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    Date of creation: Aug 1998
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    Publication status: published as Kimberly A. Clausing. "The Impact of Transfer Pricing on Intrafirm Trade," in James R. Hines, Jr., "International Taxation and Multinational Activity" University of Chicago Press (2000)
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6688

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    References

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    1. David Harris & Randall Morck & Joel B. Slemrod, 1993. "Income Shifting in U.S. Multinational Corporations," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 277-308 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Roger H. Gordon & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "International Taxation," NBER Working Papers 8854, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Subramanian Rangan & Robert Z. Lawrence, 1993. "The Responses of U.S. Firms to Exchange Rate Fluctuations: Piercing the Corporate Veil," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 341-379.
    5. Horst, Thomas, 1971. "The Theory of the Multinational Firm: Optimal Behavior under Different Tariff and Tax Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(5), pages 1059-72, Sept.-Oct.
    6. Jean-Thomas Bernard & Robert Weiner, 1990. "Multinational Corporations, Transfer Prices, and Taxes: Evidence from the U.S.Petroleum Industry," NBER Chapters, in: Taxation in the Global Economy, pages 123-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jenkins, Glenn P & Wright, Brian D, 1975. "Taxation of Income of Multinational Corporations: The Case of the United States Petroleum Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(1), pages 1-11, February.
    8. repec:fth:michin:382 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Alan V. Deardorff, 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Working Papers 5377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lipsey, Robert E & Weiss, Merle Yahr, 1984. "Foreign Production and Exports of Individual Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 304-08, May.
    11. Lall, Sanjaya, 1973. "Transfer-Pricing by Multinational Manufacturing Firms," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 35(3), pages 173-95, August.
    12. James R. Hines, Jr., 1996. "Tax Policy and the Activities of Multinational Corporations," NBER Working Papers 5589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Deardoff, A.V., 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," Working Papers 382, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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    Cited by:
    1. Fisman, Raymond & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Tax Rates and Tax Evasion: Evidence from 'Missing Imports' in China," CEPR Discussion Papers 3089, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Braconier, Henrik & Ekholm, Karolina, 2001. "Foreign Direct Investment in Central and Eastern Europe: Employment Effects in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 3052, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Sandrine Levasseur, 2002. "Investissements directs à l’étranger et stratégies des entreprises multinationales," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/3381, Sciences Po.

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