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Knocking on Tax Haven’s Door: Multinational Firms and Transfer Pricing

Author

Listed:
  • Ronald B. Davies

    (University College Dublin)

  • Julien Martin

    (Université du Québec à Montréal, and CEPR)

  • Mathieu Parenti

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles, and CEPR)

  • Farid Toubal

    (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, CREST, and CEPII)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the transfer pricing of multinational firms. Intrafirm prices may systematically deviate from arm’s-length prices for two motives: pricing to market and tax avoidance. Using French firm-level data on arm’s-length and intrafirm export prices, we find that the sensitivity of intrafirm prices to foreign taxes is reinforced once we control for pricing-to-market determinants. Most important, we find no evidence of tax avoidance if we disregard tax haven destinations. Tax avoidance through transfer pricing is economically sizable. The bulk of this loss is driven by the exports of 450 firms to ten tax havens.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald B. Davies & Julien Martin & Mathieu Parenti & Farid Toubal, 2018. "Knocking on Tax Haven’s Door: Multinational Firms and Transfer Pricing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 120-134, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:100:y:2018:i:1:p:120-134
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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. Petr Jansky & Miroslav Palansky, 2017. "Estimating the Scale of Profit Shifting and Tax Revenue Losses Related to Foreign Direct Investment," Working Papers IES 2017/25, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2017.
    3. Johannes Becker & Ronald B. Davies, 2015. "Negotiated Transfer Prices," Working Papers 201527, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    4. Becker, Johannes & Davies, Ronald B. & Jakobs, Gitte, 2017. "The economics of advance pricing agreements," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 255-268.
    5. Nicolay, Katharina & Nusser, Hannah & Pfeiffer, Olena, 2017. "On the interdependency of profit shifting channels and the effectiveness of anti-avoidance legislation," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-066, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Peter Egger & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2017. "Taxation and the Multinational Firm," CESifo Working Paper Series 6384, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Irlacher, Michael & Unger, Florian, 2018. "Effective tax rates, endogenous mark-ups and heterogeneous firms," Discussion Papers in Economics 49717, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2015:i:4:p:19149986 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Johannes Becker & Ronald B. Davies, 2014. "A Negotiation-Based Model of Tax-Induced Transfer Pricing," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp451, IIIS.
    10. Askenazy, Philippe & Erhel, Christine, 2015. "The French Productivity Puzzle," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1512, CEPREMAP.
    11. Hayato Kato & Hirofumi Okoshi, 2017. "Production Location of Multinational Firms under Transfer Pricing: The Impact of the Arm's Length Principle," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2017-016, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    12. Bodo Knoll & Nadine Riedel, 2015. "Transfer Pricing Laws," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 22-26, 01.
    13. Rathke, Alex Augusto Timm & Rezende, Amaury José, 2016. "Exploring the characteristics of transfer pricing systems across countries," MPRA Paper 70437, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. V. Vicard, 2015. "Profit shifting through transfer pricing: evidence from French firm level trade data," Working papers 555, Banque de France.
    15. Overesch Michael, 2016. "Steuervermeidung multinationaler Unternehmen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 129-143, July.
    16. Wolfgang Eggert & Gideon Goerdt & Sebastian Felix Heitzmann, 2018. "Transfer Pricing and Partial Tax Harmonization," CESifo Working Paper Series 6875, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Dudar, Olena & Spengel, Christoph & Voget, Johannes, 2015. "The impact of taxes on bilateral royalty flows," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-052, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    18. Evers, Maria Theresia & Meier, Ina & Nicolay, Katharina, 2016. "Book-tax conformity and reporting behavior: A quasi-experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-008, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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