Data sources on multinational affiliates in the developing world. The data may be used to assess the link between corporate taxation in developing countries and profit location and investment decisions of multinational firms.

Orbis
  • Provider: Bureau van Dijk
  • Coverage: Population of 85 million public and private companies around the world, but coverage in many developing countries limited (data is derived from company reports, news, market research, official bodies, private correspondence and standardized to make it comparable)
  • Frequency: annual

Variables: Accounting and financial data, consolidated and unconsolidated at the firm level, e.g.:

  • Profit and income variables
    • Sales
    • Pretax profit (operating profit [earnings before interest and taxes] / financial and operation profit)
    • After-tax profit
  • Tax variables
    • Taxes charged to the profit and loss account
  • Ownership variables
    • Country, name and identifier of all direct and indirect shareholders
    • Country, name and identifier of all direct and indirect subsidiaries
    • Direct/total percentages of ownership
    • Type of shareholders
    • Independence indicator
  • Other relevant variables
    • Current and noncurrent debtInterest expensesIntangible assets

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Compustat
  • Provider: Standard and Poor’s
  • Coverage: Publicly traded companies in more than 80 countries, representing 90 percent of the world’s market capitalization, but coverage in many developing countries – especially outside Asia – limited (data retrieved from original company sources by extracting financial information and standardized to make it comparable; drawback: impossible to link parent company data with subsidiaries)
  • Frequency: annual and quarterly
  • Variables: Financial and accounting data, consolidated and unconsolidated, including:
    • Profit and income variables
    • Information from the profit and loss account (for example) - Pretax earnings - After-tax earnings - Sales from foreign operations to unaffiliated foreign customers
    • Tax variables
    • Total tax expenses 
    • Cash taxes paid 
    • Foreign taxes paid
    • Other relevant variables
    • Research and development expenditures 
    • Current debt and long-term debt (total, issuance, reduction) 
    • Interest expenses 
    • Exports to unaffiliated foreign customers

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The direct investment and multinational companies database (US)
  • Provider: Bureau of Economic Analysis (US)
  • Coverage: Data on all foreign business enterprises of which at least 10 percent is owned, directly or indirectly, by a U.S. investor, whether individual or corporation, including enterprises in the developing world (data taken from the mandatory benchmark and annual surveys in U.S. Direct Investment Abroad)
  • Frequency: every five years and annual
  • Variables: Unconsolidated accounting and financial data at the firm level, e.g.
    • Profit and income variables
      • U.S. parent company’s domestic sales
      • Affiliates’ domestic sales
      • Affiliates’ arm’s-length sales to the US
      • Foreign sales
      • Value added
    • Tax variables
      • Direct and indirect taxes paid
      • Foreign income taxes paid
      • Foreign indirect taxes
    • Ownership variables
      • Link between affiliate and parent company
    • Other relevant variables
      • Intermediate inputs shipped intrafirm (in either direction)
      • Research and development expenditures
      • Capital expenditures
      • Dividends/net income to owners
      • Information on company financing

Download data: Data can be accessed only at the Bureau of Economic Analysis site through the Program for Outside Researchers

Microdatabase on Direct Investment – MIDI (Germany) 
  • Provider: Deutsche Bundesbank (Germany)
  • Coverage: Directly or indirectly owned foreign affiliates of German parent companiesabove a certain size and ownership threshold, including affiliates in developing countries
  • Frequency: annual since 1996 (from 1989 to 2001, only semi-aggregated data by country and (or) by sector are available)
  • Variables: Unconsolidated (and sometimes consolidated) balance sheet data at the firm level, e.g.:
    • Profit and income variables
      • Profit and loss after tax and before dividend distributions
    • Ownership variables
      • Link between affiliate and parent company
    • Other relevant variables
      • Liabilities to shareholders and (or) affiliates
      • Total balance sheet of affiliates and parent company
      • Shares in the assets and liability positions of nonresidents

This data is confidential and available only on site at the Research Centre at the Central Office of the Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt.

Annual Inquiry into Direct Investment Abroad (U.K.)
  • Provider: U.K. Office for National Statistics
  • Foreign affiliates of U.K. entities (outward inquiry): all U.K. firms engaging in foreign direct investment and their directly held foreign affiliates if the investor holds at least 10 percent of the capital of the recipients, including affiliates in developing countries (drawbacks: there are no income statement items, except for after-tax balance sheet profits; only information on directly held affiliates available; only information on flow variables, no information on stock variables)
  • Frequency: annual
  • Variables: Information on financial flows at the firm level, e.g.
    • Profit and income variables
      • Subsidiary or branch net profit and loss
      • Subsidiary or branch net earnings
    • Tax variables
      • Subsidiary tax credits
      • Subsidiary tax refunds
    • Ownership variables
      • Link between the U.K. parent company and foreign affiliate or branch
      • Parent identifier, which (partly) allows one to identify group links
      • Percentage owned
    • Other relevant variables
      • Interest (net, received, paid)
      • Branch/head office debt from and to the United Kingdom
      • Subsidiary interest payment
      • Subsidiary dividend payment

Notes:

- The data is confidential and available only on site at the U.K. Office for National Statistics in London or Newport, South Wales

- Similar data sets to the ‘The direct investment and multinational companies database’ in the US, the ‘Annual Inquiry into Direct Investment Abroad’ in the U.K. and the ‘Microdatabase on Direct Investment’ in Germany are also available for other countries, like e.g. Sweden, Norway and Japan.

World Bank Enterprise Survey Dataset 
  • Provider: World Bank Enterprise Survey Team
  • Data and coverage: Survey of firms conducted mostly in developing countries; most country-level survey datasets are available as pooled-cross sections (without a firm identifier); some sub-datasets available in panel format but commonly with a weak panel structure 
  • Frequency: annual or with higher frequency, since 1998/1999
  • Variables: Rich firm-level survey data, including a wide range of variables from the areas of corruption, regulation and taxes, informality, firm performance, finance, gender, infrastructure, innovation and technology, firm characteristics, trade and workforce. The questions concerning taxes for example ask whether tax administration or the tax rate is a serious obstacle to doing business or what percentage of sales is paid as informal payment to authorities. Information on firms’ international linkages through exports and foreign ownership is also available. 

Data 

In some areas, questions related to international corporate taxation and development may be addressed based on national firm level information which is available in some developing countries, through statistical offices.