Tax Competition in Presence of Profit Shifting
34 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 11, 2020
The popular view is that governments should crack down on tax avoidance by multinational firms. In this paper, we analyze how anti-profit-shifting policies influence fiscal competition. Governments commit to profit shifting control effort and then set taxes on capital. Equilibrium tax rates are determined by the elasticities of the two components: profit shifting and capital mobility. Anti-profit-shifting policies decrease the elasticity of the first but increase the elasticity of the second, so that the impact of these policies on the equilibrium of the tax game is ambiguous. We show that there are cases in which laxer policies increase all equilibrium tax rates and that the country announcing laxer profit shifting policies may gain. It appears that there is not always a pure strategy equilibrium in such a fiscal competition game. We construct a mixed strategy equilibrium when the pure strategy equilibrium does not exist.
Keywords: Tax competition; Profit shifting; International taxation; Capital mobility
JEL Classification: H87; H25; H26; F38; F23
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