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Corporate Taxes and Internal Borrowing within Multinational Firms


  • Peter Egger
  • Christian Keuschnigg
  • Valeria Merlo
  • Georg Wamser


This study develops a theoretical model of a multinational firm with an internal capital market. Hypotheses regarding the role of local versus foreign characteristics such as profit tax rates, lack of institutional quality, financial underdevelopment, and productivity for internal debt financing at the level of foreign affiliates are derived and assessed empirically in a panel dataset covering the universe of German multinationals. We show that differences in nontax incentives given by fundamentals in local and foreign markets can offset or reinforce tax incentives. The results point at a many times higher tax-sensitivity of internal debt financing compared to previous research.

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  • Peter Egger & Christian Keuschnigg & Valeria Merlo & Georg Wamser, 2014. "Corporate Taxes and Internal Borrowing within Multinational Firms," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 54-93, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:6:y:2014:i:2:p:54-93 Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.6.2.54

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    Cited by:

    1. Mardan, Mohammed, 2017. "Why countries differ in thin capitalization rules: The role of financial development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 1-14.
    2. Florian Chatagny & Marko Koethenbuerger & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2017. "Introducing an IP license box in Switzerland: quantifying the effects," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(6), pages 927-961, December.
    3. Haufler, Andreas & Mardan, Mohammed & Schindler, Dirk, 2016. "Optimal Policies against Profit Shifting: The Role of Controlled-Foreign-Company Rules," Discussion Papers in Economics 27745, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    4. Overesch Michael, 2016. "Steuervermeidung multinationaler Unternehmen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 129-143, July.
    5. Egger, Peter H. & Merlo, Valeria & Wamser, Georg, 2014. "Unobserved tax avoidance and the tax elasticity of FDI," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-18.
    6. Koethenbuerger, Marko & Stimmelmayr, Michael, 2016. "Taxing multinationals in the presence of internal capital markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 58-71.
    7. Peter Egger & Marko Koethenbuerger, 2016. "Hosting multinationals: Economic and fiscal implications," Aussenwirtschaft, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economics Research, vol. 67(01), pages 45-69, February.
    8. Peter Egger & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2017. "Taxation and the Multinational Firm," CESifo Working Paper Series 6384, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Harendt, Christoph, 2018. "Tax influence on financial structures of M&As," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-004, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2015:i:4:p:19151968 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jarkko Harju & Ilpo Kauppinen & Olli Ropponen, 2017. "Firm Responses to an Interest Barrier: Empirical Evidence," EconPol Working Paper 3, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    12. Goldbach, Stefan & Nagengast, Arne J. & Steinmüller, Elias & Wamser, Georg, 2017. "The effect of investing abroad on investment at home: On the role of technology, tax savings, and internal capital markets," Discussion Papers 14/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    13. Ledyaeva, Svetlana & Karhunen, Päivi & Kosonen, Riitta, 2013. "Birds of a feather: Evidence on commonality of corruption and democracy in the origin and location of foreign investment in Russian regions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-25.
    14. Valeria Merlo & Georg Wamser, 2015. "Debt Shifting and Thin-capitalization Rules," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 27-31, 01.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies


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