Do Swedish Multinationals Pay Less in Taxes than Domestic Firms?

Särtryck nr 2018:10

Författare: Åsa Hansson, Karin Olofsdotter och Susanna ThedeÅr: 2018 Publikation: World Economy Årgång (nr): 41 (2) Sidor: 393–413
Artikeln online (behörighet kan krävas)

In recent years, there has been growing concern that multinational enterprises (MNEs) engage in strategic tax planning in order to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions. This common perception is generally confirmed by empirical evidence, which is foremost provided for countries with high corporate taxes and relatively complex tax systems. We investigate whether multinational firms in a country with a comparatively more competitive tax system undertake profit shifting. We do this using detailed census data from corporate income statements and balance sheets filed by Swedish manufacturing firms between 1997 and 2007. We detect profit shifting by comparing MNEs with (purely) domestic firms. In particular, we identify systematic differences in tax payments, earnings (before interest and taxes) and equity ratios between multinational and comparable domestic firms based on propensity score matching. In addition, we examine the tax behavioural impact of acquiring multinational status using difference-in-differences estimations and/or propensity score matching. Our results reveal that the extent to which multinational firms have lower tax payments than their domestic counterparts depends on their production characteristics and foreign market outreach. In particular, we find evidence indicating that firms operating in few foreign markets and firms that become multinational engage in profit shifting from Sweden.

Hansson, Åsa, Karin Olofsdotter och Susanna Thede (2018), "Do Swedish Multinationals Pay Less in Taxes than Domestic Firms?". World Economy 41(2), 393–413.

Åsa Hansson


Tel: 046 222 8674
Mobil: 070 958 4889

Aktuell forskare

Björn Tyrefors

Ämnesområde: Arbetsmarknad, diskriminering, ekonomisk historia, institutionell och politisk ekonomi, utbildning  samt utvecklingsekonomi.

Några av de frågor Björn Tyrefors försöker besvara i sin forskning:

  • Finns systematiska skillnader på betygssättning i skolan beroende på grupptillhörighet?
  • Vilken roll spelar incitament för nyanländas framgång på den svenska arbetsmarknaden?

IFN kalendarium

Institutet för Näringslivsforskning, Grevgatan 34 - 2 tr, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Tel: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se