The Effect of Tax-Motivated Income Shifting on Information Asymmetry

Ciao-Wei Chen, Bradford F. Hepfer, Phillip J. Quinn, Ryan J. Wilson

Research output: Working paper


We examine whether tax-motivated income shifting by U.S. multinational corporations affects information asymmetry. Using a new firm-year measure of income shifting and a two-stage least squares approach, we find income shifting is positively associated with four measures of information asymmetry. Cross-sectional tests reveal that the effect of income shifting on information asymmetry is more pronounced for firms with large differences between foreign and domestic earnings growth. Using SFAS 131 to improve identification and establish evidence consistent with a causal relation between income shifting and information asymmetry, we demonstrate that the negative impact of income shifting on information asymmetry is concentrated in firms that discontinue geographic earnings disclosures. Overall, our study provides evidence that significant consequences of information asymmetry are associated with tax-motivated income shifting.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages61
StatePublished - Oct 15 2014



  • tax-motivated income shifting
  • information asymmetry
  • private information gathering
  • information uncertainty

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