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Transfer Pricing: Roles and Regimes

  • Søren Bo Nielsen
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    Against a background of rather mixed evidence about transfer pricing practices in multinational enterprises (MNEs) and varying attitudes on the part of tax authorities, this paper explores how multiple aims in transfer pricing can be pursued across four different transfer pricing regimes. A MNE has a production subsidiary in one country, from where it sells the produced good locally as well as to a sales subsidiary in a second country. The latter subsidiary is engaged in duopolistic competition with a local competitor. The MNE has two aims in setting the transfer price: strategic delegation and tax minimization. We examine the extent to which the four transfer pricing regimes we set up allow the MNE to pursue these aims. While neither strategic delegation nor tax minimization will be eliminated, trade-offs are inevitable, albeit to varying degree.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2014/wp-cesifo-2014-03/cesifo1_wp4694.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4694.

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    Date of creation: 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4694
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    1. Christian Keuschnigg & Michael P. Devereux, 2009. "The Distorting Arm's Length Principle," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 2009-20, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    2. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
    3. Nielsen, Søren Bo & Raimondos-Møller, Pascalis & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2007. "Taxes and Decision Rights in Multinationals," Discussion Papers 2007/11, Department of Business and Management Science, Norwegian School of Economics.
    4. Nielsen, Søren Bo & Raimondos-Møller, Pascalis & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2010. "Company taxation and tax spillovers: Separate accounting versus formula apportionment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 121-132, January.
    5. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-40, December.
    6. Charles E. Hyde & Chongwoo Choe, 2005. "Keeping Two Sets of Books: The Relationship Between Tax and Incentive Transfer Prices," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 165-186, 03.
    7. Guttorm Schjelderup & Lars Sorgard, 1997. "Transfer Pricing as a Strategic Device for Decentralized Multinationals," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 277-290, July.
    8. Thomas A. Gresik, 2001. "The Taxing Task of Taxing Transnationals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 800-838, September.
    9. Katz, Michael L., 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt79b870w0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    10. Steven D. Sklivas, 1987. "The Strategic Choice of Managerial Incentives," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(3), pages 452-458, Autumn.
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