When tax attacks! Corporate tax arrangements under EU state aid scrutiny

In 2014 the European Commission began in-depth state aid investigations into the corporate tax affairs of well-known multinational companies, including Amazon and Starbucks. If the Commission concludes that these arrangements constitute illegal state aid, its decisions could have far-reaching implications for European companies and their tax authorities. Why are these tax arrangements under investigation, and what are the potential repercussions?

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Destination unknown? The future of the aviation industry

The landscape of passenger aviation has transformed since the dawn of the industry 100 years ago. While it is clear that the sector will continue to change, it is less clear how it will do so. Oxera and PA Consulting have considered some of the issues affecting passenger aviation and how the industry is likely to evolve over the next 20 years, and have developed four future scenarios

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Empirical analysis of buyer power

Assessing buyer power has long been essential in analysing supplier mergers. However, it is often qualitative and does not isolate the marginal effect of buyer power on final prices from the effect of other factors such as the size of the transaction and supplier heterogeneity. Dr Walter Beckert, Oxera Associate and Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, discusses an empirical methodology to differentiate these effects, and hence estimate the impact of buyer power on final prices charged by suppliers

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Unreliable evidence? How (not) to use statistical significance tests

Did a particular cartel cause prices to rise? Was a particular policy intervention effective? Is firm A more efficient than firm B? Quantitative economics, especially statistical analysis, is increasingly used in litigation and regulatory determinations, and to evaluate policy interventions. While statistics can test the reliability and extent of uncertainty of any analysis, these are not objective measures of right and wrong. How should, and shouldn’t, statistics be used in decision-making?

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