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Limiting Profit Shifting in a Model with Heterogeneous Firm Productivity

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  • Langenmayr, Dominika

Abstract

This paper analyzes measures that limit firms’ profit shifting activities in a model that incorporates heterogeneous firm productivity and monopolistic competition. Such measures, e.g. thin capitalization rules, have become increasingly widespread as governments have reacted to growing profit shifting activities of multinational companies. However, besides limiting profit shifting, such rules entail costs. As the regulations can only focus on the means to shift profits, not on profit shifting itself, they impose costs on all firms, no matter whether these firms shift profits abroad or not. In the model, these costs force some firms to exit the market. Thus, as this makes the remaining firms more profitable, regulations to limit profit shifting may even increase the aggregate amount of profits shifted abroad. From a welfare point of view, it may even be optimal no to limit profit shifting at all.

Suggested Citation

  • Langenmayr, Dominika, 2011. "Limiting Profit Shifting in a Model with Heterogeneous Firm Productivity," Discussion Papers in Economics 12419, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:12419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ronald B. Davies & Carsten Eckel, 2010. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 77-102, February.
    2. Krautheim, Sebastian & Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2011. "Heterogeneous firms, 'profit shifting' FDI and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 122-133, February.
    3. Egger, Peter & Eggert, Wolfgang & Winner, Hannes, 2010. "Saving taxes through foreign plant ownership," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 99-108, May.
    4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    5. Stefan Homburg, 2007. "Germany's Company Tax Reform Act of 2008," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(4), pages 591-612, December.
    6. Richard E. Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2014. "Tax Competition with Heterogeneous Firms," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 309-326, September.
    7. Schreiber, Ulrich & Overesch, Michael & Büttner, Thiess & Wamser, Georg, 2006. "The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals? Financing and Investment Decisions," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-068, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Alfons Weichenrieder, 2009. "Profit shifting in the EU: evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(3), pages 281-297, June.
    9. 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.
    10. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    11. James R. Hines & Eric M. Rice, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-182.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Philipowski, 2016. "Should profit shifting be prohibited? The importance of timing," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(4), pages 2365-2367.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    profit shifting; heterogeneous firms; tax competition;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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