IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/zewdip/13045.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Multinationals' profit response to tax differentials: Effect size and shifting channels

Author

Listed:
  • Heckemeyer, Jost H.
  • Overesch, Michael

Abstract

This paper provides a quantitative review of the empirical literature on profit-shifting behavior of multinational firms. We synthesize the evidence from 25 studies and find a substantial response of profit measures to international tax rate differentials. Accounting for misspecification biases by means of meta-regressions, we predict a tax semi-elasticity of subsidiary pre-tax profits of about 0.8. Moreover, we disentangle the tax response by means of financial planning from the transfer pricing and licensing channel. Our results suggest that transfer pricing and licensing are the dominant profit-shifting channel.

Suggested Citation

  • Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2013. "Multinationals' profit response to tax differentials: Effect size and shifting channels," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-045, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13045
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/78624/1/756742838.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stimmelmayr, Michael, 2007. "Fundamental Capital Income Tax Reforms," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 23, number urn:isbn:9783161492617, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Adam, Antonis & Kammas, Pantelis & Lagou, Athina, 2013. "The effect of globalization on capital taxation: What have we learned after 20years of empirical studies?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 199-209.
    4. Simon Loretz & Socrates Mokkas, 2015. "Evidence for Profit Shifting with Tax-sensitive Capital Stocks," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 71(1), pages 1-36, March.
    5. Bartelsman, Eric J. & Beetsma, Roel M. W. J., 2003. "Why pay more? Corporate tax avoidance through transfer pricing in OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2225-2252, September.
    6. de Mooij, Ruud A & Ederveen, Sjef, 2003. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(6), pages 673-693, November.
    7. David Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2010. "Active Labour Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(548), pages 452-477, November.
    8. Grubert, Harry, 2003. "Intangible Income, Intercompany Transactions, Income Shifting, and the Choice of Location," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 56(1), pages 221-242, March.
    9. Lars P. Feld & Jost H. Heckemeyer, 2011. "Fdi And Taxation: A Meta‐Study," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 233-272, April.
    10. Becker, Johannes & Riedel, Nadine, 2012. "Cross-border tax effects on affiliate investment—Evidence from European multinationals," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 436-450.
    11. Grubert, Harry, 1998. "Taxes and the division of foreign operating income among royalties, interest, dividends and retained earnings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 269-290, May.
    12. Clausing, Kimberly A., 2009. "Multinational Firm Tax Avoidance and Tax Policy," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 62(4), pages 703-725, December.
    13. Dharmapala, Dhammika & Riedel, Nadine, 2013. "Earnings shocks and tax-motivated income-shifting: Evidence from European multinationals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 95-107.
    14. T. D. Stanley, 2005. "Beyond Publication Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 309-345, July.
    15. Dischinger, Matthias & Riedel, Nadine, 2011. "Corporate taxes and the location of intangible assets within multinational firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 691-707, August.
    16. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2008. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 37-48, February.
    17. Feld, Lars P. & Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2013. "Capital structure choice and company taxation: A meta-study," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2850-2866.
    18. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc & Nicodeme, Gaetan, 2008. "Capital structure and international debt shifting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 80-118, April.
    19. 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.
    20. Collins, J & Kemsley, D & Lang, M, 1998. "Cross-jurisdictional income shifting and earnings valuation," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 209-229.
    21. Egert, Balazs & Halpern, Laszlo, 2006. "Equilibrium exchange rates in Central and Eastern Europe: A meta-regression analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1359-1374, May.
    22. De Long, J Bradford & Lang, Kevin, 1992. "Are All Economic Hypotheses False?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1257-1272, December.
    23. Giorgia Maffini & Socrates Mokkas, 2011. "Profit Shifting and Measured Productivity of Multinational Firms," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 73(1), pages 1-20, February.
    24. 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.
    25. Kevin S Markle, 2012. "A Comparison of the Tax-motivated Income Shifting of Multinationals in Territorial and Worldwide Countries," Working Papers 1206, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    26. T. D. Stanley, 2008. "Meta‐Regression Methods for Detecting and Estimating Empirical Effects in the Presence of Publication Selection," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(1), pages 103-127, February.
    27. 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.
    28. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-243, May.
    29. Grubert, Harry & Mutti, John, 1991. "Taxes, Tariffs and Transfer Pricing in Multinational Corporate Decision Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 285-293, May.
    30. Havranek, Tomas & Irsova, Zuzana, 2011. "Estimating vertical spillovers from FDI: Why results vary and what the true effect is," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 234-244.
    31. Doucouliagos, Chris & Stanley, T.D. & Giles, Margaret, 2012. "Are estimates of the value of a statistical life exaggerated?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 197-206.
    32. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2004. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2451-2487, December.
    33. Peter Schwarz, 2009. "Tax-avoidance strategies of American multinationals: an empirical analysis," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(8), pages 539-549.
    34. Buettner, Thiess & Overesch, Michael & Schreiber, Ulrich & Wamser, Georg, 2012. "The impact of thin-capitalization rules on the capital structure of multinational firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 930-938.
    35. T. D. Stanley, 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
    36. Viktor Steiner, 2008. "Stimmelmayr, M: Fundamental Capital Income Tax Reforms—Discussion and Simulation Using ifoMOD," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 279-282, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jost H. Heckemeyer & Michael Overesch, 2017. "Multinationals’ profit response to tax differentials: Effect size and shifting channels," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(4), pages 965-994, November.
    2. Jost H. Heckemeyer & Michael Overesch, 2017. "Multinationals profit response to tax differentials: Effect size and shifting channels," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(4), pages 965-994, November.
    3. Feld, Lars P. & Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2013. "Capital structure choice and company taxation: A meta-study," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2850-2866.
    4. Sebastian Beer & Ruud de Mooij & Li Liu, 2020. "International Corporate Tax Avoidance: A Review Of The Channels, Magnitudes, And Blind Spots," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 660-688, July.
    5. Overesch Michael, 2016. "Steuervermeidung multinationaler Unternehmen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 129-143, July.
    6. Brandstetter, Laura, 2014. "Do corporate tax cuts reduce international profit shifting," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 162, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    7. Brandstetter, Laura, 2014. "Do Corporate Tax Cuts Reduce International Profit Shifting?," Discussion Papers 2014/10, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    8. Belz, Thomas & von Hagen, Dominik & Steffens, Christian, 2019. "Taxes and firm size: Political cost or political power?," Journal of Accounting Literature, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-28.
    9. Qian, Xuefeng & Tian, Bifei & Reed, W. Robert & Chen, Ziruo, 2018. "Searching for profit-shifting in China," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 12, pages 1-25.
    10. Fuest, Clemens & Spengel, Christoph & Finke, Katharina & Heckemeyer, Jost & Nusser, Hannah, 2013. "Profit shifting and 'aggressive' tax planning by multinational firms: Issues and options for reform," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-044, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    11. Sabine Schenkelberg, 2020. "The Cadbury Schweppes judgment and its implications on profit shifting activities within Europe," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(1), pages 1-31, February.
    12. Dhammika Dharmapala, 2014. "What Do We Know about Base Erosion and Profit Shifting? A Review of the Empirical Literature," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 35, pages 421-448, December.
    13. Egger, Peter H. & Merlo, Valeria & Wamser, Georg, 2014. "Unobserved tax avoidance and the tax elasticity of FDI," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-18.
    14. Martin Simmler, 2014. "Do multinational firms invest more? On the impact of internal debt financing on capital accumulation," Working Papers 1424, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    15. Castillo Murciego, Ángela & López-Laborda, Julio, 2017. "Are Spanish companies involved in profit shifting? Consequences in terms of tax revenues," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 11, pages 1-47.
    16. Cooper, Maggie & Nguyen, Quyen T.K., 2020. "Multinational enterprises and corporate tax planning: A review of literature and suggestions for a future research agenda," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3).
    17. De Simone, Lisa, 2016. "Does a common set of accounting standards affect tax-motivated income shifting for multinational firms?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 145-165.
    18. Dudar, Olena & Spengel, Christoph & Voget, Johannes, 2015. "The impact of taxes on bilateral royalty flows," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-052, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    19. Dominika Langenmayr & Li Liu, 2020. "Where Does Multinational Profit Go with Territorial Taxation? Evidence from the UK," CESifo Working Paper Series 8047, CESifo.
    20. Cyril Chalendard, 2016. "Shifting-Profits through Tax Loopholes. Evidence from Ecuador," CESifo Working Paper Series 6240, CESifo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Profit Shifting; Multinational Firm; Corporate Income Tax; Meta-Analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13045. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/zemande.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/zemande.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.