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Brown Bag Seminar

Wednesday July 16, 2014


12:00PM - 1:00PM



Scott D. Dyreng
The Fuqua School of Business
Duke University


Changes in Corporate Tax Avoidance Over the Past Twenty-Five Years

This paper investigates systematic changes in corporate tax avoidance over the past twenty-five years. We report four primary findings. First, tax avoidance has increased significantly over the past twenty-five years. Second, contrary to the focus by the business press on tax avoidance in large multinational firms, tax avoidance has increased in both multinationals and purely domestic firms, and at approximately the same rate. Third, within multinationals, we observe increasing avoidance over time of both foreign and domestic taxes. Finally, while cross-sectional variation in tax avoidance is partly explained by firm characteristics such as foreign exposure and intangible-intensity, changes in these characteristics explain little of the increase in tax avoidance over time. These findings suggest that tax avoidance is an increasingly important economic phenomenon, extending far beyond the largest multinational firms, but one that is not well explained by the extant literature.

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Alessandro Arlotto

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