Asymmetry in Statistics - European Register for Multinationals (EGR) (Theme)


All over the world, globalisation is seen as the predominant agent of change and the main policy challenge. At the heart of this complex and somewhat blurry concept, however, lie businesses and their ever-increasing drive to expand their activities across national borders, most notably by establishing foreign affiliates. Europe plays a key role in this. The EU has become a very important destination for foreign companies and their affiliates, and European businesses are among the most active around the world. A host of crucial policy challenges flow from this, not least the issue of outsourcing jobs and keeping European firms competitive. Consequently, there is a huge and evergrowing demand for data on these developments. Foreign AffiliaTes Statistics (FATS) statistics are particularly useful because they help explain how businesses are expanding internationally and what the consequences are for the European Union.

Every EU/EFTA country has to compile Outward and Inward FATS statistics. Within a country a National Statistical Institute or a National Central Bank is appointed as compiler. Some countries produce also intra-EU data for Outward FATS. In theory intra-EU statistics compiled by Outward FATS of country A for EU/EFTA country B should be equal to Inward FATS statistics of country B.

Example from praxis:
Outward FATS of country A produces the following figure: multinational enterprise groups controlled by a resident legal entities in country A are controlling 1101 enterprises resident in country B. Inward FATS of country B should produce the following figure: 1101 enterprises resident in country B are controlled by a legal entity in country A. However country B publishes 505 enterprises, a difference of 596 enterprises.

These differences or asymmetries can have different causes. This paper is dealing with one type of cause: differences in frame populations and how register methodology, in this case frame population methodology of the EuroGroups register (EGR) can contribute to reduce/eliminate these kinds of differences.


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