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The Effects of Taxation on the Merger Decision

In: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences

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  • Alan J. Auerbach
  • David Reishus

Abstract

This paper presents estimates of the tax benefits generated by a sample of U.S. mergers and acquisitions involving two public corporations over the period 1968-83 and estimates a "marriage model" based on differences between these mergers and another sample of "pseudomergers" that did not occur to determine the impact of these tax benefits on the probability of two firms combining. Our findings reject the hypothesis that leverage played a large role in fostering these transactions, and that the tax losses and credits of acquired firms likewise exerted no impact on merger activity. Though the use of such benefits by acquiring firms to shield profits of other firms did increase the level of activity, the impact was quite small. On the whole, our results suggest that the changes in tax provisions with respect to mergers introduced by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 will have a small impact on U.S. mergers and acquisitions.

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in:

  • Alan J. Auerbach, 1988. "Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auer88-1, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 2056.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:2056

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    References

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    1. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach & James M. Poterba, 1986. "Tax Loss Carryforwards and Corporate Tax Incentives," Working papers 413, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. Auerbach, Alan J, 1979. "Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 433-46, August.
    4. Palepu, Krishna G., 1986. "Predicting takeover targets : A methodological and empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-35, March.
    5. David F. Bradford, 1979. "The Incidence and Allocation Effects of a Tax on Corporate Distributions," NBER Working Papers 0349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Roger H. Gordon & James R. Hines Jr. & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Notes on the Tax Treatment of Structures," NBER Working Papers 1896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. King, Mervyn A, 1974. "Taxation and the Cost of Capital," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 21-35, January.
    8. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines, Jr., 1987. "Anticipated Tax Changes and the Timing of Investment," NBER Chapters, in: Taxes and Capital Formation, pages 85-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hines Jr., James R., 2010. "Income misattribution under formula apportionment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 108-120, January.
    2. Mihir A. Desai & James R. Hines Jr., 2004. "Market Reactions to Export Subsidies," NBER Working Papers 10233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert S. Harris & Julian Franks & Colin Mayer, 1987. "Means of Payment in Takeovers: Results for the U.K. and U.S," NBER Working Papers 2456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rauh, Joshua D., 2006. "Own company stock in defined contribution pension plans: A takeover defense?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 379-410, August.
    5. Hanlon, Michelle & Heitzman, Shane, 2010. "A review of tax research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 127-178, December.
    6. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1988. "The Effect of Takeover Activity on Corporate Research and Development," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 69-100 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Auerbach, Alan J., 2002. "Taxation and corporate financial policy," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 19, pages 1251-1292 Elsevier.
    9. James R. Hines Jr., 1998. "Investment Ramifications of Distortionary Tax Subsidies," NBER Working Papers 6615, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1990. "Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Corporate Financial Policy and Organizational Form," NBER Working Papers 3222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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