NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Transfer Pricing by U.S.-Based Multinational Firms

Andrew B. Bernard, J. Bradford Jensen, Peter K. Schott

NBER Working Paper No. 12493
Issued in August 2006
NBER Program(s):   IO   ITI   PE

This paper examines how prices set by multinational firms vary across arm's-length and related-party customers. Comparing prices within firms, products, destination countries, modes of transport and month, we find that the prices U.S. exporters set for their arm's-length customers are substantially larger than the prices recorded for related-parties. This price wedge is smaller for commodities than for differentiated goods, is increasing in firm size and firm export share, and is greater for goods sent to countries with lower corporate tax rates and higher tariffs. We also find that changes in exchange rates have differential effects on arm's-length and related-party prices; an appreciation of the dollar reduces the difference between the prices.

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