Abstract

This paper considers how the multinational corporation's transfer price responds to changes in international corporate effective tax rates. It extends the decentralized decision-making analysis of transfer pricing in the context of different tax rates. It adopts and extends Bond's (1980) model of the decentralized multinational corporation that assumes centralized transfer pricing. The direction of transfer price change is as expected, while the magnitude of change is likely to be less than predicted by the Horst (1971), centralized decision-making model. The paper extends the model further by assuming negotiated transfer pricing, where the analysis is partitioned into perfect and imperfect information cases. The negotiated transfer pricing result reverts to the Horst (1971), or centralized decision-making, result, under perfect information. Under imperfect information, the centralized decision-making result obtains when top management successfully informs division general managers or it successfully implements a non-monetary reward scheme to encourage division general managers to cooperate. Under simplifying assumptions, centralized decision-making dominates decentralized decision-making, while negotiated transfer pricing weakly dominates centralized transfer pricing.

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