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Establishing the baseline: estimating the fiscal contribution of multinational enterprises

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  • Richard Bolwijn,
  • Bruno Casella
  • Davide Rigo

Abstract

Tax revenues from multinational enterprises (MNEs) are an important source of public finance in developing economies. The research and policy debate so far have mostly focused on the “missing” part, i.e. the government revenues lost due to the tax avoidance practices of MNEs (Bolwijn et al., 2018). In this study, we take a different, but complementary, approach, looking at the taxes and other revenues actually paid by foreign affiliates of MNEs to developing-country governments. We present two alternative methodologies to estimate foreign affiliates’ fiscal contribution – the contribution method and the foreign direct investment (FDI) income method – and show that they lead to the same order of magnitude. The findings allow us to set a baseline for an informed discussion on tax avoidance by MNEs.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Bolwijn, & Bruno Casella & Davide Rigo, . "Establishing the baseline: estimating the fiscal contribution of multinational enterprises," UNCTAD Transnational Corporations Journal, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:unc:tncjou:23
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    Cited by:

    1. Petr Janský & Miroslav Palanský, 2019. "Estimating the scale of profit shifting and tax revenue losses related to foreign direct investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(5), pages 1048-1103, October.
    2. Quint, Ansgar F. & Rudsinske, Jonas F., 2020. "International trade and tax-motivated transfer pricing," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 406, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    3. Richard Bolwijn & Bruno Casella & Davide Rigo, . "An FDI-driven approach to measuring the scale and economic impact of BEPS," UNCTAD Transnational Corporations Journal, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    4. Petr Janský & Miroslav Palanský, 2019. "Estimating the scale of profit shifting and tax revenue losses related to foreign direct investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(5), pages 1048-1103, October.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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