Multinationals: The Role of Consumers and a New European Fiscal Trend

  • Anna PellandaEmail author
Conference paper


This chapter consists of three sections. The first discusses the role played by elasticity of demand in enabling multinationals to make profits. Consumers long for goods charged with meaning for their social prestige and self-esteem; thus the elasticity of their demand support the oligopolistic profit.

The second section focuses on how multinationals produce with a view to profit alone lowering production costs, paying very badly their workers and, in the case of the multinationals producing meat, exploiting animals. In so doing they pollute the environment, grab land and clear forest to grow larger and larger.

Another way to lower production costs is to avoid and/or elude taxation and this is the subject of the third section of this chapter. The proposal formulated during the Ecofin in Tallinn in September 2017 to levy a so-called web tax on multinational producing digital products is seen as a very important step against their power of damaging consumers, industrial relations, ecosystems, and their subtracting resources to finance public expenditures, social policies of the countries where they act.

The web tax could also be seen as a good step towards a possible common European fiscal policy.


  1. Bain, J. S. (1956). Barriers to new competition their character and consequences in manufacturing industries. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chamberlin, E. H. (1933). The theory of monopolistic competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cournot, A. A. (1838). Recherches sur le principe mathématique de la théorie des richesses. Paris: L. Hachette.Google Scholar
  4. Duesenberry, J. (1949). Income, saving and the theory of consumer behaviour. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Foer, J. S. (2009). Eating animals. London: Penguin Books Ltd.Google Scholar
  6. Fragassi, F. (2014, 9 giugno). Le dieci multinazionali più potenti (e più pericolose) del mondo.
  7. Friedman, M. (1962). Capitalism and freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Giffen, R. (1883). Progress of the working classes in the last half century. Journal of the Statistical Society of London, 46, 593–622. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hymer, S. (1974). Le imprese multinazionali. Torino: Einaudi.Google Scholar
  10. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). A prospect theory: an analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 47(2), 263–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Keynes, J. M. (1936). The general theory of employment, interest and money. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Lymbery, P., & Oakeshott, I. (2014). Farmageddon. The true cost of cheap meat. Bloomsbury: Penguin.Google Scholar
  13. Marshall, A. (1890). Principles of economics (1920 8th ed.). London: Macmillan and Co.Google Scholar
  14. Modigliani, F. (1966). The “life cycle” hypothesis of saving, The demand for wealth and the supply of capital. Social Research, 33(2), 160–217.Google Scholar
  15. Patterson, J., & Di Lallo, R. (2017). The store. Milano: Longanesi.Google Scholar
  16. Rifkin, J. (1992). Beyond beef. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  17. Robinson, J. (1933). The economics of imperfect competition (1969 2nd ed.). London: Mcmillan.Google Scholar
  18. Schumpeter, J. A. (1911). The theory of economic development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Simon, H. A. (1956). Rational choice and the structure of the environment. Psychological Review, 63(2), 129–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Veblen, T. (1899). The theory of the leisure class. New York: McMillan.Google Scholar
  21. Vernon, R. (1977). Storm over multinationals. London: McMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Zucman, G. (2013). The missing wealth of nations: Are Europe and US debtors or net creditors? Quarterly Journal of Economics, 128(2), 1321–1364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scuola per le Professioni LegaliPadua UniversityPadovaItaly

Personalised recommendations