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Payout Taxes and the Allocation of Investment

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  • Bo Becker
  • Marcus Jacob
  • Martin Jacob

Abstract

When corporate payout is taxed, internal equity (retained earnings) is cheaper than external equity (share issues). High taxes will favor firms who can finance internally. If there are no perfect substitutes for equity finance, payout taxes may thus change the investment behavior of firms. Using an international panel with many changes in payout taxes, we show that this prediction holds well. Payout taxes have a large impact on the dynamics of corporate investment and growth. Investment is “locked in” in profitable firms when payout is heavily taxed. Thus, apart from any aggregate effects, payout taxes change the allocation of capital.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17481.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Publication status: published as Becker, Bo & Jacob, Marcus & Jacob, Martin, 2013. "Payout taxes and the allocation of investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 1-24.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17481

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Annette Alstadsæter & Wojciech Kopczuk & Kjetil Telle, 2013. "Are Closely-Held Firms Tax Shelters?," NBER Working Papers 19609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jacob, Martin & Södersten, Jan, 2012. "Mitigating shareholder taxation in small open economies?," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2012:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Seppo Kari & Jussi Laitila, 2012. "Non-linear dividend tax and dynamics of the firm," Working Papers 41, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  4. Alstadsæter, Annette & Jacob, Martin, 2014. "Do dividend taxes affect corporate investment?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 172, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  5. Annette Alstadsæter & Martin Jacob, 2014. "Do Dividend Taxes Affect Corporate Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 4931, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Sebastian Eichfelder & Kerstin Schneider, 2014. "Tax Incentives and Business Investment: Evidence from German Bonus Depreciation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4805, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Brandstetter, Laura & Jacob, Martin, 2013. "Do corporate tax cuts increase investments?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 153, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  8. Alstadsæter, Annette & Jacob, Martin, 2014. "Dividend taxes and income shifting," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 154, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.

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