Tax-Motivated Profit Shifting and Anti-Avoidance Stringency: Firm-Level Evidence from Developing Countries
This paper uses firm-level data from developing countries to examine the significance of tax-motivated profit shifting from high-tax to low-tax countries by multinational enterprises and to analyze the extent to which anti-avoidance measures mitigate the profit shifting. Focusing on firms in ASEAN5, this study shows that (1) tax-motivated profit shifting is statistically and economically significant, especially for manufacturing firms, (2) auditing and transfer-pricing scrutiny is more effective in reducing profit shifting than documentation requirement alone, and (3) tax-motivated profit shifting is prominent for large firms, while anti-tax avoidance measures result in the absence of profit shifting detected from small manufacturing firms. The findings have important policy implications regarding tax revenues in developing countries, especially those depending on multinational enterprises but having weak governance.
The Movement and Change in Online Price Within and Across Selected Major Retail Stores in Thailand
E-commerce has gained larger market shares in Thailand over the last decade. Yet there is a paucity of studies on online price behaviour and movement. This project is one of the first attempts to explore this topic in the Thai context. Using web scraping technique to acquire the data on price and product information from major retailers that have both physical and online outlets, this paper summarizes its findings into six stylized facts. In short, online price changes more frequent than its offline counterpart, yet the magnitudes of changes are generally much larger. Further, price heterogeneity exists across stores and product categories. However, pricing strategies of the same store seems to differ between its online and offline outlets.
Thailand’s Car Tax Rebate Scheme and Consumption Responses: the Role of Durable Goods with Adjustment Costs
In 2011, Thailand faced the largest ood in seventy years. In response to the unexpected crisis the Thai government rolled out Thailand’s car tax rebate scheme in an attempt to prevent the economy from slipping into a deep recession. This study investigates consumption responses to changes in vehicle prices induced by the car tax rebate scheme presented in the framework of a life-cycle model. The model features durable goods with adjustment costs and non-homothetic preference. The key features match the fact that car purchases are lumpy and infrequent and that cars are luxury goods in Thailand. Additionally, liquidity constraints and adjustment costs are also important features for the evaluation of shorter-run consumption responses. Key parameters are estimated to match household-level data. Then partial equilibrium responses, which are key inputs to inform the aggregate outcome of the policy, are simulated given a distribution of the population wealth, income,and age in the economy. Findings show that Thai households have large elasticity of intertemporal substitution (EIS), hence large responses to the scal stimulus. Furthermore, non-homotheticity in the preference generates heterogeneous policy responses varied by household income and wealth. The model predicts that the temporary price shock will lead to a large cutback in future consumption and saving, consistent with the evidence shown by aggregate data. A number of alternative policy experiments are also conducted.
Household Debt and Delinquency over the Life Cycle
This paper uses loan-level data from Thailand’s National Credit Bureau to study household debt over the life cycle of borrowers. The wide coverage and the granularity of the data allow us to decompose the aggregate, commonly-used debt per capita and delinquency rate into components that unveil the extensive and intensive margins of household indebtedness. This decomposition allows us to analyze debt holding, debt portfolio, and delinquency for each age and cohort. We find the striking inverted-U life cycle patterns of indebtedness as predicted by economic theories. However, peaks are reached at different ages for different loan products and different lenders. We also find that debt has expanded over time for all age groups. In particular, the younger cohorts seem to originate debt earlier in their lives than the older generations. Meanwhile, older borrowers remain indebted well past their retirement age. Finally, we find a downward pattern of delinquency over the life cycle. Our findings have important policy implications on financial access and distress of households as well as economic development and financial stability of the economy.
Economic impacts of Political Uncertainty in Thailand
This paper aims to analyze political uncertainty in Thailand by looking at various dimensions of political uncertainty and quantifying the economic impacts. Based on keyword search in Thai-language newspapers, the paper proposes five measures related to different aspects of political uncertainty. These are: (1) political protest (2) official measures in dealing with political violence (3) coup d’état (4) parliament dissolution or election and (5) political structural reform, including the aggregate index of political uncertainty. We find that the overall political uncertainty in Thailand has been in the rising trend during the past 20 years. In particular, during the past 10 years, the main source of Thai political uncertainty comes from uncertainty related to political structural reform. Based on various econometric specifications, rising political uncertainty is found to have significant negative impacts on the Thai economy both in the short run – particularly, private investment – and economic growth in the long run. Nevertheless, we find that the degree of the economic impact and statistical significance on different components of macroeconomy is quite varied, reflecting complicated interaction between political factors and economic outcome.
Why So Low for So Long? A long-term View of Real Interest Rates
Prevailing explanations of the decline in real interest rates since the early 1980s are premised on the notion that real interest rates are driven by variations in desired saving and investment. But based on data stretching back to 1870 for 19 countries, our systematic analysis casts doubt on this view. The link between real interest rates and saving-investment determinants appears tenuous. While it is possible to find some relationships consistent with the theory in some periods, particularly over the last 30 years, they do not survive over the extended sample. This holds both at the national and global level. By contrast, we find evidence that persistent shifts in real interest rates coincide with changes in monetary regimes. Moreover, external influences on countries’ real interest rates appear to reflect idiosyncratic variations in interest rates of countries that dominate global monetary and financial conditions rather than common movements in global saving and investment. All this points to an underrated role of monetary policy in determining real interest rates over long horizons.
The Impact of Imperfect Financial Integration and Trade on Macroeconomic Volatility and Welfare in Emerging Markets
This study examines how international integration impacts macroeconomic volatility and welfare in emerging market economies (EMEs), employing a two-country real business cycle model with constrained cross-border borrowing and imperfect access to international financial market. Parameter calibration employs 2000-2013 trade and external debt data from EMEs. The simulation shows that higher foreign debt raises output volatility, slightly reduces consumption volatility of entrepreneurs who can borrow abroad, and brings about welfare loss due to higher debt interest payments and less consumption. Households who can only save in domestic markets are largely unaffected. Restricted financial integration does not have much adverse impact when people face no other frictions domestically, suggesting the importance of domestic financial development. Higher international trade tends to be favorable for output variability, consumption smoothing, and welfare, but does not play a significant role on how cross-border borrowing affects macroeconomic volatility. The results suggest that the impacts of financial and trade integration are generally independent. It might be difficult for EMEs to achieve evident gains from greater financial integration even with high trade intensity when market imperfection exists. Increasing only trade or both types of integration together can be Pareto improving that lowers aggregate fluctuation, whereas increasing only private external debt is not.
Bank Supply Shocks and Firm Investment: A Granular View from the Thai Credit Registry Data
This paper attempts to link bank loan supply shocks to the real economic activity at the firm and aggregate level. We apply the methodology pioneered by Amiti and Weinstein (2017) to bank-firm credit registry dataset in Thailand for the period of 2004-2015. Loan growth dynamics of individual banks and individual firms are exactly decomposed into a time series of bank, firm, industry, and common shocks. We show that the bank and firm shocks obtained using this method are consistent with various measures of individual banks’ and firms’ balance sheet health, supporting the validity of the shock decomposition. Results from firm-level regressions indicate that bank supply shocks do matter for firm investment activity even after controlling for common, industry, firm-specific shocks and firm’s leverage. We find that Thai firms are generally highly sensitive to bank lending shocks, particularly firms that borrow from only one bank and have low propensity to switch to another bank. The size and the dynamics of bank shocks appears to differ between heathy versus unhealthy, and small versus large firms, suggesting differential bank lending policy across different types of firms. At the aggregate level, we find that granular bank shock accounts for around 37 percent of aggregate lending growth and is the major source of financial shocks driving aggregate investment.
Are Consumers Forward-looking? Evidence from Used iPhones
This study examines the impact of planned obsolescence – the introduction of new models to make existing models obsolete – on secondary markets for mobile phones. Using data of over 320,000 used iPhones listings on Thailand’s largest online marketplace, we document that iPhone prices decrease with age, around 2.8 to 3.2 percent for each passing month. We find no evidence that the price decline accelerates after launches of new models (i.e. obsolescence), lending support to the view that consumer in durable goods markets are rational and forward-looking.
Thailand’s Household Debt through the Lens of Credit Bureau Data: Debt and Delinquency
This paper uses loan-level data from the National Credit Bureau to study household debt in Thailand. The wide coverage and the granularity of the data allow us to analyze prevalence, intensity, and distribution of debt and delinquency by loan product, lender, and borrower. We show that there are tremendous heterogeneities in debt and delinquency across these attributes. Overall, credit access in Thailand appears moderate and limited for housing loans. Thais begin to have debt earlier in their lives and hold debt until very old. Household debt is largely concentrated and plagued with high debt intensity and delinquency prevalence, especially among the young working age population, implying a potential increase in the vulnerability of the financial system and prolonged sluggish domestic spending. Our findings have important implications for policy design and targeting.