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Taxes and Capital Structure: Evidence from Firms' Response to the Tax Reform Act of 1986

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  • Givoly, Dan, et al
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    Abstract

    While the theoretical relation between taxes and capital structure has been extensively analyzed, the empirical evidence on this issue has thus far been inconclusive. One of the main difficulties confronting previous empirical studies of the cross-sectional relationship between taxes and leverage was the control of intervening variables. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA), which drastically changed the tax regime, provides a unique opportunity to assess the interaction between taxes and leverage decisions in a controlled environment. The authors test the relationship between leverage and certain tax-related variables for a large sample of companies in the years surrounding the enactment of TRA. The results support the tax-based theories of capital structure. The findings indicate that there exists a substitution effect between debt and nondebt tax shields, and that both corporate and personal tax rates affect leverage decisions. Coauthors are Dan Givoly, Aharon R. Ofer, and Oded Sarig. Article published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Financial Studies in its journal, The Review of Financial Studies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal Review of Financial Studies.

    Volume (Year): 5 (1992)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 331-55

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:5:y:1992:i:2:p:331-55

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    Cited by:
    1. Reagle, Derrick, 2006. "Back on the balance sheet: The tax effects of contingent claims in commercial banking," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 19-27.
    2. Xu, Jin, 2012. "Profitability and capital structure: Evidence from import penetration," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 427-446.
    3. Leora Klapper & Konstantinos Tzioumis, 2008. "Taxation and capital structure: evidence from a transition economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 21915, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Graham, John R., 1996. "Proxies for the corporate marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 187-221, October.
    5. Konstantinos Tzioumis & Leora F. Klapper, 2012. "Taxation and Capital Structure: Evidence from a Transition Economy," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 68(2), pages 165-190, June.
    6. Ed Vos & Carolyn Forlong, 1996. "The Agency Advantage of Debt over the Lifecycle of the Firm," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 5(3), pages 193-211 , Fall.
    7. Thomas Hemmelgarn & Daniel Teichmann, 2013. "Tax Reforms and the Capital Structure of Banks," Taxation Papers 37, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    8. Danielova, Anna & Sarkar, Sudipto, 2011. "The effect of leverage on the tax-cut versus investment-subsidy argument," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 123-129.
    9. Graham, John R., 1996. "Debt and the marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 41-73, May.
    10. Adams, Mike & Hardwick, Philip & Zou, Hong, 2008. "Reinsurance and corporate taxation in the United Kingdom life insurance industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 101-115, January.
    11. Wu, Liansheng & Yue, Heng, 2009. "Corporate tax, capital structure, and the accessibility of bank loans: Evidence from China," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 30-38, January.
    12. Leora Klapper & Konstantinos Tzioumis, 2008. "Taxation and Capital Structure: evidence from a transition economy," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 16, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    13. Chen, Jean J., 2004. "Determinants of capital structure of Chinese-listed companies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(12), pages 1341-1351, December.
    14. Frankfurter, George M. & Wood, Bob Jr., 2002. "Dividend policy theories and their empirical tests," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 111-138.
    15. Ghosh, Aloke & Jain, Prem C., 2000. "Financial leverage changes associated with corporate mergers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 377-402, December.
    16. Nadja Dwenger & Viktor Steiner, 2009. "Financial Leverage and Corporate Taxation: Evidence from German Corporate Tax Return Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 855, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    17. Chay, J. B. & Marsden, Alastair, 1996. "Market reaction to the introduction of a foreign investor tax credit regime in New Zealand," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 4(2-3), pages 129-152, July.
    18. Lee, Cheng-Few & Kuo, Nan-Ting, 2014. "Effects of ultimate ownership structure and corporate tax on capital structures: Evidence from Taiwan," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 409-425.
    19. Florian Heider & Alexander Ljungqvist, 2012. "As Certain as Debt and Taxes: Estimating the Tax Sensitivity of Leverage from Exogenous State Tax Changes," NBER Working Papers 18263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Sarkar, Sudipto, 2008. "Can tax convexity be ignored in corporate financing decisions?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1310-1321, July.

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