Ludvig Wier defends his PhD thesis at the Department of Economics – University of Copenhagen

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Ludvig Wier defends his PhD thesis at the Department of Economics


Ludvig Wier


“Hide and Seek for Professionals: How Corporate Profits Fled High-Tax Countries (and Where to Find Them)"” .

Time and venue

19 December 2018 at 15:00. University of Copenhagen, Centre for Health and Society, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K, building 26, room 26.2.21.

Assessment committee

Professor Peter Birch Sørensen, Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (chairman)
Professor Jukka Pirttilä, University of Helsinki, Finland
Professor Nadine Riedel, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany


Multinationals can lower their global tax bill by shifting their earnings from affiliates in high-tax countries to tax havens - a phenomenon known as “profit shifting”. These accounting techniques are putting governments under pressure and causing public outrage. However, basic questions are still left unanswered, such as how much revenue is lost, who loses and how to stop it. Meanwhile, corporate tax rates across the globe continue to plummet, as countries try to protect their tax base or even seek to become the next tax haven. The clock is ticking and the window for action is closing.

This PhD thesis seeks to assist in closing the knowledge gap and informing policy makers on what actions to take. In collaboration with various co-authors, I examine the following questions:

1)      How are profits shifted to low-tax places?

2)      Which countries are vulnerable to profit shifting and why?

3)      How much do countries lose?

4)      What could be done to fix the system of international corporate taxation?