The recent data leaks on wealthy individuals and multinational corporations using offshore tax vehicles have been widely covered by the media. The long-term impact of the media exposure of the exposed companies have yet to be explored. Therefore, I focus on the impact on corporations brought by the media exposure resulting from the Paradise Papers data leak. Through a combination of media research, quantitative analysis, and reviews of commentary on social media, this paper finds that there were no significant long-term negative effects on the companies exposed of using offshore tax vehicles. Using the S&P 500 companies as a sample, I found that 42.9% of the companies had connections to the Paradise Papers, among which 53 were reported by the media on different levels of exposure. A case study analysis was conducted on Apple Inc. as it was the most exposed company amongst the sample. To understand the public’s response to a specific company’s involvement in the Paradise Papers data leak, I looked into comments on social media platforms such as Reddit. The initial reaction from the public towards Apple was largely negative; over 92% of the sampled Reddit comments condemned Apple’s involvement in the Paradise Papers and/or urged for more government regulations over usage of offshore vehicles. However, Apple’s stock price did not show a corresponding drop. I infer that though the public disapproves of wealthy individuals and multinational corporations using offshore vehicles, they are unlikely to act against the exposed companies. The lack of unity and focus on the issue may be the reason why the Paradise Papers and similar matters have not fueled large-scale corporate reforms.
Yao, Kerin, "The Long-term Impact of Media Exposure of Corporations Using Offshore Tax Vehicles: Evidence from the Paradise Papers" (2018). 2018 Undergraduate Awards. 1.