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The Role of Headquarters in Multinational Profit Shifting Strategies

  • Matthias Dischinger

    ()

    (University of Munich)

  • Nadine Riedel

    ()

    (Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, CESifo Munich)

This paper stresses the special role of multinational headquarters in corporate profit shifting strategies. Using a large panel of European firms, we show that multinational enterprises (MNEs) are reluctant to shift profits away from their headquarters even if these are located in high-tax countries. Thus, shifting activities in response to corporate tax rate differentials between parents and subsidiaries are found to be significantly larger if the parent observes a lower corporate tax rate than its subsidiary and profit is thus shifted towards the headquarters firm. This result is in line with recent empirical evidence suggesting that MNEs bias the location of profits and highly profitable assets in favor of the headquarters location (for agency cost reasons among others).

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Paper provided by Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation in its series Working Papers with number 1003.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:1003
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  1. Thiess Buettner & Michael Overesch & Ulrich Schreiber & Georg Wamser, 2006. "The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals' Financing and Investment Decisions," Working Papers 2006-06, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  2. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2007. "Profit Shifting in the EU: Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 2043, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. James R. Hines, Jr. & Eric M. Rice, 1990. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," NBER Working Papers 3477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Grubert, Harry, 2003. "Intangible Income, Intercompany Transactions, Income Shifting, and the Choice of Location," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 221-42, March.
  5. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2003. "Tax-motivated transfer pricing and US intrafirm trade prices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2207-2223, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Thiess Buettner & Georg Wamser, 2007. "Intercompany Loans and Profit Shifting – Evidence from Company-Level Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 1959, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. 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.
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