CANCELLED JRC B2 Seminar: “Profit shifting frictions and the geography of multinational activity” – Mathieu Parenti


We develop a quantitative general equilibrium model of multinational activity embedding corporate taxation and profit shifting. In addition to trade and investment frictions, our model shows that profit-shifting frictions shape the geography of multinational production. Key to our model is the distinction between the corporate tax elasticity of real activity and profit shifting. The quantification of our model requires estimates of shifted profits flows. We provide a new, model-consistent methodology to calibrate bilateral profit-shifting frictions based on accounting identities. We simulate various tax reforms aimed at curbing tax-dodging practices of multinationals and their impact on a range of outcomes, including tax revenues and production. Our results show that the effects of the international relocation of firms across countries are of comparable magnitude as the direct gains in taxable income.


Mathieu Parenti is an associate professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, a research fellow at the CEPR and a research affiliate at CESifo. His research interests include international trade, trade and corporate tax policy, and market power.