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The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on External Debt Usage – A Propensity Score Matching Approach

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  • Georg Wamser

Abstract

This paper analyzes how multinational enterprises respond to a restriction on interestdeductions incurred for internal borrowing. The emphasis of the study is on a firm’sresponse with respect to external borrowing. The empirical investigation appliespropensity score matching techniques and exploits the 2001 reform of the German thin-capitalizationrule to solve endogeneity problems. The results suggest that restrictionson internal debt are associated with expansions in external debt finance, indicating asubstitutional relationship. Since multinational enterprises can use internal debt to shiftprofits from high- to low-tax countries, this finding implies that policies aimed atsecuring corporate tax revenue possibly fail and should be subject to careful scrutiny bypolicymakers.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-Ifo_Working_Papers/wp-ifo-2005-2010/IfoWorkingPaper-62.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series Ifo Working Paper Series with number Ifo Working Paper No. 62.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_62

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  1. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Jack Mintz, 2008. "What determines the use of holding companies and ownership chains?," Working Papers 0803, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  3. Ramb, Fred & Weichenrieder, Alfons J., 2005. "Taxes and the financial structure of German inward FDI," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,05, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  5. Schreiber, Ulrich & Overesch, Michael & Büttner, Thiess & Wamser, Georg, 2006. "The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals? Financing and Investment Decisions," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-68, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative approaches to evaluation in empirical microeconomics," CeMMAP working papers CWP26/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Econometric Causality," NBER Working Papers 13934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John R. Graham, 2003. "Taxes and Corporate Finance: A Review," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1075-1129.
  9. Alfons Weichenrieder & Helen Windischbauer, 2008. "Thin-Capitalization Rules and Company Responses Experience from German Legislation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2456, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2004. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2451-2487, December.
  11. Alan J. Auerbach, 2001. "Taxation and Corporate Financial Policy," NBER Working Papers 8203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, 1988. "Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," NBER Working Papers 2632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, Jr., 2002. "The Costs of Shared Ownership: Evidence from International Joint Ventures," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Alliances National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gopalan, Radhakrishnan & Nanda, Vikram & Seru, Amit, 2007. "Affiliated firms and financial support: Evidence from Indian business groups," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 759-795, December.
  15. Stewart C. Myers, 2001. "Capital Structure," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 81-102, Spring.
  16. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  17. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  18. Rita de la Feria & Ana Paula Dourado, 2008. "Thin Capitalization Rules in the Context of the CCCTB," Working Papers 0804, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  19. Jack Mintz & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
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Cited by:
  1. Dreßler, Daniel & Scheuering, Uwe, 2012. "Empirical evaluation of interest barrier effects," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-046, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Jennifer Blouin & Harry Huizinga & Luc Laeven & Gaëtan Nicodème, 2013. "Thin capitalization rules and multinational firm capital structure," Working Papers 1323, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.

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