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Multinational enterprises, financial centres and their implications for external imbalances: a euro area perspective

Virginia Di Nino (), Maurizio Michael Habib and Martin Schmitz

Economic Bulletin Articles, 2020, vol. 2

Abstract: This article analyses how the operations of large multinational enterprises (MNEs) affect the external account of the euro area and, in general, financial centres. The increased ease of moving intangible assets, profits and headquarters across borders poses challenges to the current framework of international statistics and economic analysis. First, the article shows how MNE operations are recorded in cross-border statistics, as well as the challenges in measuring such data. Second, the article highlights evidence of the impact that MNEs have on the external account of the euro area – this is most evident in current account balances and foreign direct investment in euro area financial centres, often involving special-purpose entities (SPEs). Third, the article looks at the tendency of financial centres to report current account surpluses that may be tentatively attributed, in part, to the activity of MNEs. Multilateral initiatives could help to improve the transparency of MNE operations and ensure an exchange of information across borders for tax and statistical purposes. JEL Classification: F21, F23, F3

Keywords: Balance of Payments; financial centres; Multinationals; profit shifting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-03
Note: 334027
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