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Dividends, Capital Gains And The Corporate Veil: Evidence From Britain, Canada And The United States

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  • POTERBA, J.M.

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of increased cash dividend payout, and of "forced realizations~ of capital gains in corporate control transactions, on the level of aggregate consumption. The results support the proposition that investors respond differently to cash receipts from firms and to accruing capital gains. Consistent but weak evidence for the United States, Great Britain, and Canada suggests that higher dividend tax rates lower consumption. This is consistent with such tax rates increasing corporate saving, while households fail to completely pierce the corporate veil and therefore reduce their consumption. Time series evidence from the U.S. and the U.K. also suggests that "forced realizations" of capital gains in takeovers may spur consumption, indicating a relatively unexplored link between corporate financial decisions and aggregate consumption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy in its series Working Papers with number 3.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 1989
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jdi:wpaper:3

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Keywords: consumption ; investments ; savings ; household;

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References

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  1. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Shoven, John B, 1989. "Cash Distributions to Shareholders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 129-40, Summer.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin Hassett, 1991. "Corporate Savings and Shareholder Consumption," NBER Chapters, in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 75-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Campbell, John & Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Why Is Consumption So Smooth?," Scholarly Articles 3221494, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
  5. Robert B. Avery & Gregory E. Elliehausen, 1986. "Financial characteristics of high-income families," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Mar, pages 163-177.
  6. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  7. Campbell, John Y & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(3), pages 265-79, July.
  8. Shefrin, Hersh M. & Statman, Meir, 1984. "Explaining investor preference for cash dividends," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 253-282, June.
  9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1970. "Corporate Taxation and Dividend Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 57-72, January.
  10. David, Paul A & Scadding, John L, 1974. "Private Savings: Ultrarationality, Aggregation, and "Denison's Law."," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 225-49, Part I, M.
  11. Feldstein, Martin S & Fane, George, 1973. "Taxes, Corporate Dividend Policy and Personal Savings: The British Postwar Experience," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(4), pages 399-411, November.
  12. Bhatia, Kul B., 1979. "Corporate taxation, retained earnings, and capital formation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 123-134, February.
  13. Hendershott, Patric H & Peek, Joe, 1989. "Household Saving in the United States: Measurement and Behavior," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(1), pages 11-19, January.
  14. Julian R. Franks & Robert S. Harris & Cohn Mayer, 1988. "Means of Payment in Takeovers: Results for the United Kingdom and the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 221-264 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. E. Philip Howrey & Saul H. Hymans, 1978. "The Measurement and Determination of Loanable-Funds Saving," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(3), pages 655-685.
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Cited by:
  1. Kevin Hassett & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1994. "Investment with Uncertain Tax Policy: Does Random Tax Policy Discourage Investment?," NBER Working Papers 4780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harold M. Somers, 1991. "Leverage: The Tax Incentives," UCLA Economics Working Papers 625, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Patrick Honohan, 1995. "The Impact of Financial and Fiscal Policies on Saving," Papers WP059, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  4. David Altig, 1990. "The case of the missing interest deductions: will tax reform increase U. S. saving rates?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q IV, pages 22-34.

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