Benchmarking Country-by-Country Reports

Authors: Giulia Aliprandi, and Gerrit von Zedlitz

Country-by-Country Reports (CbCRs) have emerged as a unique public source of information to track the country-by-country activities of multinational corporations. However, concerns about double counting and comparability have raised questions about the reliability of these reports for economic analyses. In this paper, we conduct a benchmark analysis focusing on publicly available CbCRs to assess the reliability of CbCR information compared to respective consolidated financial information. Our findings suggest only limited double counting issues. Most CbCR information matches well with the consolidated information, with only a few exceptions. Nonetheless, we document differences in the definition of variables and in the scope of the reports that may complicate comparisons across multinational corporations. We subsequently discuss the implications of our findings for the use of CbCRs as a source of information in economic analyses. In addition, we provide recommendations for improving the reliability and comparability of CbCR information.