Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics

No 07-2006: Taxes and Decision Rights in Multinationals

Søren Bo Nielsen , Pascalis Raimondos-Møller and Guttorm Schjelderup
Additional contact information
Søren Bo Nielsen: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Pascalis Raimondos-Møller: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Guttorm Schjelderup: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3 C, 5. sal, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Abstract: We examine how a multinational’s choice to centralize or de-centralize its decision structure is affected by country tax differentials. Within a simple model that emphasizes the multiple conflicting roles of transfer prices in MNEs — here, as a strategic pre-commitment device and a tax manipulation instrument —, we show that decentralization is preferred in case of small tax differentials, whereas centralization can be more profitable, when tax differentials are large. In essence, the organizational flexibility of MNEs is triggered by the scope for tax minimization. Our analysis allows for both commitment and non-commitment to transfer prices, and for alternative modes of competition. Keywords: Centralized vs. de-centralized decisions, taxes, transfer prices, MNEs. JEL-Classification: H25, F23, L23.

Keywords: na

JEL-codes: F23; H25; L23

21 pages, January 1, 2006

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