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Transfer Pricing by Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Foreign Firm Ownerships

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  • Anca D. Cristea
  • Daniel X. Nguyen

Abstract

Using a firm-level dataset of Danish exports between 1999-2006, we find robust evidence for profit shifting by multinational corporations. Our triple difference estimations exploit the response of export unit values to acquisitions of foreign affiliates and to changes in statutory corporate tax rates. This identification strategy corrects for a downward bias resulting from firms adjusting arm's length prices to obscure transfer price manipulations. We find that Danish multinationals reduce the unit values of their exports to low tax countries between 5.7 to 9.1 percent. This difference corresponds to a tax revenue loss of 3.24 percent of Danish multinationals' tax returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Anca D. Cristea & Daniel X. Nguyen, 2016. "Transfer Pricing by Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Foreign Firm Ownerships," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 170-202, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:8:y:2016:i:3:p:170-202
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20130407
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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