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Profit shifting through transfer pricing: evidence from French firm level trade data

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  • V. Vicard

Abstract

This paper provides direct evidence of profit shifting to low tax jurisdictions by multinational companies through transfer prices. Using detailed firm level export and import data by origin/destination and product for France, I show that the price wedge between arm's length and related party transactions varies systematically with the differential in corporate tax rate between France and the partner country. Profit shifting through transfer prices is estimated to have reduced the French corporate tax base by 8 bn USD in 2008. Its extent is growing in France over the 2000s. The related missing tax revenues amounts to 10% of the corporate tax paid by multinational groups located in France that trade with related party.

Suggested Citation

  • V. Vicard, 2015. "Profit shifting through transfer pricing: evidence from French firm level trade data," Working papers 555, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:555
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    Cited by:

    1. Boileau, A. & Chavy-Martin, A.-C., 2017. "Les délais de paiement sont stables en 2015," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 25-38.
    2. 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.
    3. R. Cezar, 2016. "France’s pharmaceutical industry in global value chains," Quarterly selection of articles - Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 44, pages 52-63, Winter.
    4. Rougès, D. & Strauss-Kahn, M.-O., 2017. "Sondage 2016 sur les Français et l’économie : comportements, préoccupations et attentes," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 15-23.
    5. C. Mazet-Sonilhac & J.-S. Mésonnier, 2016. "The cost of equity for large non-financial companies in the euro area: an estimation over the last decade," Quarterly selection of articles - Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 44, pages 28-39, Winter.
    6. Vincent Bouvatier & Gunther Capelle-Blancard & Anne-Laure Delatte, 2017. "Banks Defy Gravity in Tax Havens," Working Papers 2017-16, CEPII research center.
    7. A. Boileau & L. Carlino & A. S. Lafon, 2016. "In the first half of 2016, the main French groups increased their profitability," Quarterly selection of articles - Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 44, pages 40-51, Winter.
    8. Humbertclaude, S. & Monteil, F., 2017. "Le patrimoine économique national en 2015 : un modeste rebond," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 5-14.
    9. Bureau, B. & Bürker, M. & Libert, T., 2017. "La situation des entreprises en France en 2015," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 39-55.
    10. Cezar, R., 2017. "L’industrie pharmaceutique française dans les chaînes de valeur mondiales," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 57-69.
    11. Bureau, B. & Bürker, M. & Libert, T., 2017. "La situation des entreprises en France en 2015," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 39-55.
    12. Humbertclaude, S. & Monteil, F., 2017. "Le patrimoine économique national en 2015 : un modeste rebond," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 5-14.
    13. Boileau, A. & Chavy-Martin, A.-C., 2017. "Les délais de paiement sont stables en 2015," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 25-38.
    14. Rougès, D. & Strauss-Kahn, M.-O., 2017. "Sondage 2016 sur les Français et l’économie : comportements, préoccupations et attentes," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 15-23.
    15. Cezar, R., 2017. "La situation des entreprises en France en 2015," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 209, pages 57-69.
    16. B. Cabrillac & L. Gauvin & J.-L. Gossé, 2016. "GDP-indexed bonds: what are the benefits for issuing countries, investors and international financial stability?," Quarterly selection of articles - Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 44, pages 6-19, Winter.
    17. E. Buttin, 2016. "Green bonds: a solution for financing the energy transition or a simple buzzword?," Quarterly selection of articles - Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 44, pages 20-27, Winter.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transfer pricing; Multinational firms; Tax avoidance; Base erosion; International trade; Investment income.;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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