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- PublicationThe Real Effects of Tax HavensIt is common to summarize the impact of tax havens as a shift of tax revenues from high to low-tax jurisdictions. This chapter discusses the economic impact of tax havens that goes beyond a zero-sum transfer of the tax base, what we label real effects. We review the literature and focus on exploring how profit shifting affects employment, investment, and innovation in firms. We consider in turn how real effects shape market structure and their implications in general equilibrium. In conclusion, we propose some potential pathways for future research in terms of methodology and areas that we deem promising for further exploration.
- PublicationKnocking on Tax Haven’s Door: Multinational Firms and Transfer PricingThis paper analyzes the transfer pricing of multinational firms. We propose a simple framework in which intra-firm prices may systematically deviate from arm’s length prices for two motives: i) pricing to market, and ii) tax avoidance. Multinational firms may decide not to avoid taxes if the risk to be sanctioned is high compared to the tax gap. Using detailed French firm-level data on arm’s length and intra-firm export prices, we find that both mechanisms are at work. The sensitivity of intra-firm prices to foreign taxes is reinforced once we control for pricing-to-market determinants. Most importantly, we find almost no evidence of tax avoidance if we disregard exports to tax havens. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that tax avoidance through transfer pricing amounts to about 1% of the total corporate taxes collected by tax authorities in France. The lion’s share of this loss is driven by the exports of 450 firms to ten tax havens. As such, it may be possible to achieve significant revenue increases with minimal cost by targeting enforcement.