IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v95y2011i7-8p691-707.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Corporate taxes and the location of intangible assets within multinational firms

Author

Listed:
  • Dischinger, Matthias
  • Riedel, Nadine

Abstract

Intangible assets, like patents and trademarks, are increasingly seen as the key to competitive success and as the drivers of corporate profit. Moreover, they constitute a major source of profit shifting opportunities in multinational enterprises (MNEs) due to a highly intransparent transfer pricing process. This paper argues that, for both reasons, MNEs have an incentive to locate intangible property at affiliates with a relatively low corporate tax rate. Using panel data on European MNEs and controlling for unobserved time-constant heterogeneity between affiliates, we find that the lower a subsidiary's corporate tax rate relative to other affiliates of the multinational group the higher is its level of intangible asset investment. This effect is statistically and economically significant, even after controlling for subsidiary size and accounting for a dynamic intangible investment pattern.

Suggested Citation

  • Dischinger, Matthias & Riedel, Nadine, 2011. "Corporate taxes and the location of intangible assets within multinational firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 691-707, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7-8:p:691-707
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047-2727(10)00204-5
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert E. Hall, 2001. "The Stock Market and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1185-1202, December.
    2. Matthias Dischinger & Nadine Riedel, 2009. "There's no Place like Home: The Profitability Gap between Headquarters and their Foreign Subsidiaries," CESifo Working Paper Series 2866, CESifo.
    3. Haufler, Andreas & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2000. "Corporate Tax Systems and Cross Country Profit Shifting," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 306-325, April.
    4. John W. Budd & Jozef Konings & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2005. "Wages and International Rent Sharing in Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 73-84, February.
    5. Wilfred J. Ethier & James R. Markusen, 2021. "Multinational firms, technology diffusion and trade," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 7, pages 131-158, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078.
    7. Karkinsky, Tom & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Corporate taxation and the choice of patent location within multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 176-185.
    8. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "The demand for tax haven operations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 513-531, February.
    9. Dischinger, Matthias & Riedel, Nadine, 2008. "Corporate Taxes, Profit Shifting and the Location of Intangibles within Multinational Firms," Discussion Papers in Economics 4450, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    10. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318, Elsevier.
    11. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    12. European Commission, 2013. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2013 edition," Taxation trends 2013, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    13. John W. Budd & Jozef Konings & Matthew J. Slaughter, "undated". "International Rent Sharing in Multinational Firms," Working Papers 0202, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
    14. Plassmann, Florenz & Tideman, T Nicolaus, 2001. "Does the Right to Carry Concealed Handguns Deter Countable Crimes? Only a Count Analysis Can Say," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 771-798, October.
    15. James R. Markusen, 2021. "Contracts, intellectual property rights, and multinational investment in developing countries," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: BROADENING TRADE THEORY Incorporating Market Realities into Traditional Models, chapter 8, pages 159-174, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    16. Luigi Zingales, 2000. "In Search of New Foundations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1623-1653, August.
    17. Dischinger, Matthias, 2007. "Profit Shifting by Multinationals: Indirect Evidence from European Micro Data," Discussion Papers in Economics 2029, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    18. Grubert, Harry, 2003. "Intangible Income, Intercompany Transactions, Income Shifting, and the Choice of Location," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 56(1), pages 221-242, March.
    19. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
    20. Gilles Hilary & Clive Lennox, 2005. "The Credibility of Self-Regulation: Evidence from the Accounting Profession's Peer Review," Post-Print hal-00482306, HAL.
    21. Harry Grubert & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "The Effect Of Taxes On Investment And Income Shifting To Puerto Rico," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 365-373, August.
    22. Edmans, Alex, 2011. "Does the stock market fully value intangibles? Employee satisfaction and equity prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 621-640, September.
    23. Hilary, Gilles & Lennox, Clive, 2005. "The credibility of self-regulation: Evidence from the accounting profession's peer review program," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-3), pages 211-229, December.
    24. Saggi, Kamal, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment, Licensing, and Incentives for Innovation," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 699-714, November.
    25. Schreiber, Ulrich & Overesch, Michael & Büttner, Thiess & Wamser, Georg, 2006. "The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals? Financing and Investment Decisions," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-068, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    26. Hong, Qing & Smart, Michael, 2010. "In praise of tax havens: International tax planning and foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 82-95, January.
    27. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2009. "Profit shifting in the EU: evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(3), pages 281-297, June.
    28. Collins, J & Kemsley, D & Lang, M, 1998. "Cross-jurisdictional income shifting and earnings valuation," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 209-229.
    29. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc, 2008. "International profit shifting within multinationals: A multi-country perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1164-1182, June.
    30. Valeria Gattai & Corrado Molteni, 2007. "Dissipation of Knowledge and the Boundaries of the Multinational Enterprise," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 143(1), pages 1-26, April.
    31. Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2003. "Optimal Currency Areas," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 301-356, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Valeria Gattai, 2005. "Firm’s Intangible Assets and Multinational Activity: Joint-Venture Versus FDI," Working Papers 2005.122, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    33. Saggi, Kamal, 1996. "Entry into a Foreign Market: Foreign Direct Investment versus Licensing," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 99-104, February.
    34. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel, 1998. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 335-367, June.
    35. Alberto Giovannini & R. Glenn Hubbard & Joel Slemrod, 1993. "Studies in International Taxation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number giov93-1.
    36. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    37. 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.
    38. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2007. "Quality versus Quantity – The Composition Effect of Corporate Taxation on Foreign Direct Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2126, CESifo.
    39. James R. Hines & Eric M. Rice, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-182.
    40. Giovannini, Alberto & Hubbard, R. Glenn & Slemrod, Joel (ed.), 1993. "Studies in International Taxation," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226297019, March.
    41. European Commission, 2006. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2006 edition," Taxation trends 2006, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    42. Fosfuri, Andrea, 2000. "Patent protection, imitation and the mode of technology transfer," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 1129-1149, October.
    43. John H. Mutti & Harry Grubert, 2007. "The Effect of Taxes on Royalties and the Migration of Intangible Assets Abroad," NBER Working Papers 13248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    44. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    45. European Commission, 2009. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2009 edition," Taxation trends 2009, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    46. Anderson, T. W. & Hsiao, Cheng, 1982. "Formulation and estimation of dynamic models using panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-82, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Matthias Dischinger & Nadine Riedel, 2008. "Corporate Taxes, Profit Shifting and the Location of Intangibles within Multinational Firms," Working Papers 060, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    2. Karkinsky, Tom & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Corporate taxation and the choice of patent location within multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 176-185.
    3. Becker, Johannes & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Cross-border tax effects on affiliate investment—Evidence from European multinationals," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 436-450.
    4. Sabine Schenkelberg, 2020. "The Cadbury Schweppes judgment and its implications on profit shifting activities within Europe," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(1), pages 1-31, February.
    5. Sebastian Beer & Ruud de Mooij & Li Liu, 2020. "International Corporate Tax Avoidance: A Review Of The Channels, Magnitudes, And Blind Spots," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 660-688, July.
    6. Dischinger, Matthias, 2008. "Profit Shifting by Multinationals and the Ownership Share: Evidence from European Micro Data," Discussion Papers in Economics 5661, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    7. Overesch Michael, 2016. "Steuervermeidung multinationaler Unternehmen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 129-143, July.
    8. An, Zhiyong & Tan, Congyan, 2014. "Taxation and income shifting: Empirical evidence from a quasi-experiment in China," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 588-596.
    9. Dharmapala, Dhammika & Riedel, Nadine, 2013. "Earnings shocks and tax-motivated income-shifting: Evidence from European multinationals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 95-107.
    10. Kind, Hans Jarle & Midelfart, Karen Helene & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2005. "Corporate tax systems, multinational enterprises, and economic integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 507-521, March.
    11. Anna Gumpert & James R. Hines, Jr. & Monika Schnitzer, 2011. "The Use of Tax Havens in Exemption Regimes," NBER Working Papers 17644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Marques, Mário & Pinho, Carlos & Montenegro, Tânia Menezes, 2019. "The effect of international income shifting on the link between real investment and corporate taxation," Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-1.
    13. Michael P Devereux, 2007. "The Impact of Taxation on the Location of Capital, Firms and Profit: a Survey of Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 0702, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    14. Vincent Bouvatier & Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Anne-Laure Delatte, 2017. "Banks Defy Gravity in Tax Havens," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-03101505, HAL.
    15. Dhammika Dharmapala, 2014. "What Do We Know about Base Erosion and Profit Shifting? A Review of the Empirical Literature," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 35, pages 421-448, December.
    16. Griffith, Rachel & Miller, Helen & O'Connell, Martin, 2011. "Corporate taxes and the location of intellectual property," CEPR Discussion Papers 8424, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Lisa De Simone & Lillian F. Mills & Bridget Stomberg, 2019. "Using IRS data to identify income shifting to foreign affiliates," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 694-730, June.
    18. Bouvatier, Vincent & Capelle-blancard, Gunther & Delatte, Anne-Laure, 2017. "Banks in Tax Havens: First Evidence based on Country-by-Country Reporting," CEPR Discussion Papers 12222, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Dischinger, Matthias, 2007. "Profit Shifting by Multinationals: Indirect Evidence from European Micro Data," Discussion Papers in Economics 2029, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    20. Jost H. Heckemeyer & Michael Overesch, 2017. "Multinationals’ profit response to tax differentials: Effect size and shifting channels," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(4), pages 965-994, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multinational enterprise Intangible assets Tax planning Micro data;

    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
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7-8:p:691-707. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.