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How to Eliminate Pyramidal Business Groups The Double Taxation of Inter-corporate Dividends and other Incisive Uses of Tax Policy

In: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19

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  • Randall Morck

Abstract

Arguments for eliminating the double taxation of dividends apply only to dividends paid by corporations to individuals. The double (and multiple) taxation of dividends paid by one firm to another -- intercorporate dividends - was explicitly included in the 1930s as part of a package of tax and other policies aimed at eliminating United States pyramidal business groups. These structures remain the predominant form of corporate organization outside the United States. The first Roosevelt administration associated them with corporate governance problems, corporate tax avoidance, market power, and an objectionable concentration of economic power. Future tax reforms in the United States should mind the original intent of Congress and the President regarding intercorporate dividend taxation. Foreign governments may find the American experience of value should they desire to eliminate their business groups.

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This chapter was published in:

  • James Poterba, 2005. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote05-1, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0167.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0167

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    Cited by:
    1. Mike Peng & Yi Jiang, 2006. "Family Ownership And Control In Large Firms: The Good, The Bad, The Irrelevant – And Why," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp840, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. Randall Morck & Lloyd Steier, 2005. "The Global History of Corporate Governance: An Introduction," NBER Chapters, in: A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers, pages 1-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Dahlquist, Magnus & Robertsson, Göran & Rydqvist, Kristian, 2007. "Direct Evidence of Dividend Tax Clienteles," SIFR Research Report Series 51, Institute for Financial Research.
    4. Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung, 2005. "Dividend Taxation and Corporate Governance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 163-180, Summer.
    5. Mihir A. Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala & Winnie Fung, 2005. "Taxation and the Evolution of Aggregate Corporate Ownership Concentration," NBER Working Papers 11469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bena, Jan & Ortiz-Molina, Hernán, 2013. "Pyramidal ownership and the creation of new firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 798-821.
    7. Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung, 2009. "Never Waste a Good Crisis: An Historical Perspective on Comparative Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 15042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Lloyd Steier, 2009. "Familial capitalism in global institutional contexts: Implications for corporate governance and entrepreneurship in East Asia," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 513-535, September.
    9. Huseynov, Fariz & Klamm, Bonnie K., 2012. "Tax avoidance, tax management and corporate social responsibility," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 804-827.
    10. Mihir A. Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala, 2005. "Corporate Tax Avoidance and Firm Value," NBER Working Papers 11241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Federica Pazzaglia, 2010. "Are Alternative Organizational Forms the Solution to Limit Excessive Managerial Discretion?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 93(4), pages 623-639, June.
    12. Sharon Belenzon & Tomer Berkovitz, 2007. "Innovation in business groups," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19661, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Bunkanwanicha, Pramuan & Gupta, Jyoti & Wiwattanakantang, Yupana, 2006. "Pyramiding of Family-owned Banks in Emerging Markets," CEI Working Paper Series 2006-4, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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