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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Feb 1, 2015

The Effect of Tax and Nontax Country Characteristics on the Global Equity Supply Chains of U.S. Multinationals


We examine the global equity supply chains of U.S. multinationals to explore how tax and nontax country characteristics affect whether firms use foreign holding companies and where they locate them. We find that U.S. multinationals supply equity from headquarters to their foreign operating companies through foreign holding companies located in countries that lightly tax equity distributions. We also find that foreign holding companies tend to be located in countries with less corruption and investment risk than the countries in which the operating companies they own are located. In addition, we provide empirical evidence that the Netherlands, a well-known location for international tax planning, is a particularly popular site for foreign equity holding companies. Our findings contribute to a nascent literature that examines ownership chains in multinational companies and a larger literature on subsidiary location decisions for multinationals. The findings also provide empirical evidence that could be useful to governments in developed countries as they attempt to reform international tax policy.


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