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Debt shifting and ownership structure

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  • Schindler, Dirk
  • Schjelderup, Guttorm

Abstract

Previous theoretical studies on the debt shifting behavior of multinationals have assumed affiliates of multinationals to be wholly owned. We develop a model that allows a multinational firm to determine both the leverage and ownership structure in affiliates endogenously. A main finding is that affiliates with minority owners have less debt than wholly owned affiliates and therefore a less tax-efficient financing structure. This is due to an externality that arises endogenously in our model, where costs and benefits of debt shifting are shared asymmetrically between minority and majority owners. Our findings provide a theory framework for recent empirical findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Schindler, Dirk & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2012. "Debt shifting and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 635-647.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:4:p:635-647 DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2012.02.015
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnt Ove Hopland & Petro Lisowsky & Mohammed Mardan & Dirk Schindler, 2014. "Income Shifting under Losses," CESifo Working Paper Series 5130, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Haufler, Andreas & Mardan, Mohammed, 2014. "Cross-border loss offset can fuel tax competition," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 42-61.
    3. Haufler, Andreas & Runkel, Marco, 2012. "Firms' financial choices and thin capitalization rules under corporate tax competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1087-1103.
    4. Martin Simmler, 2014. "Do multinational firms invest more? On the impact of internal debt financing on capital accumulation," Working Papers 1424, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    5. 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.
    6. Gresik, Thomas A. & Schindler, Dirk & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2017. "Immobilizing corporate income shifting: Should it be safe to strip in the harbor?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 68-78.
    7. Matthias Wrede, 2013. "Multinational Financial Structure and Tax Competition," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(III), pages 381-404, September.
    8. Koethenbuerger, Marko & Stimmelmayr, Michael, 2016. "Taxing multinationals in the presence of internal capital markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 58-71.
    9. Ruf Martin & Schindler Dirk, 2015. "Debt Shifting and Thin-Capitalization Rules – German Experience and Alternative Approaches," Nordic Tax Journal, De Gruyter Open, vol. 2015(1), pages 17-33, September.
    10. Mardan, Mohammed & Haufler, Andreas & Schindler, Dirk, 2014. "An Economic Rationale for Controlled-Foreign-Corporation Rules," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100405, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Weichenrieder, Alfons J. & Xu, Fangying, 2015. "Are tax havens good? Implications of the crackdown on secrecy," SAFE Working Paper Series 111, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    12. Dirk Schindler & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2013. "Transfer Pricing and Debt Shifting in Multinationals," CESifo Working Paper Series 4381, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Guttorm Schjelderup, 2016. "The Tax Sensitivity of Debt in Multinationals: A Review," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(1), pages 109-121, February.
    14. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2015:i:4:p:19151968 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Koethenbuerger, Marko & Stimmelmayr, Michael, 2014. "Corporate deductibility provisions and managerial incentives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 120-130.
    16. Thiess Buettner & Michael Overesch & Georg Wamser, 2016. "Restricted interest deductibility and multinationals’ use of internal debt finance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(5), pages 785-797, October.
    17. 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

    Keywords

    Multinationals; Tax-efficient financing structures; Minority ownership;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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