How Prevalent is Tax Arbitrage? Evidence from the Market for Municipal Bonds
AbstractAlthough tax arbitrage is central to the literatures on tax capitalization, implicit taxes, and even capital structure, there is little empirical evidence of the extent to which firms actually engage in tax arbitrage. This paper provides some evidence on the topic by focusing on a simple and observable corporate arbitrage strategy in the market for municipal bonds. It poses a puzzle for the literature, however, in that we find little evidence of municipal bond tax arbitrage by non-financial corporations. The overwhelming majority of firms are not engaging in the arbitrage at all and even among those engaged in arbitrage, many firms do less than a safe-harbor amount allowed by the tax authorities. Such a pattern is consistent with the presence of both fixed and marginal (i.e., that depend on size of the position) costs of arbitrage, though we cannot observe what those costs are.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9105.
Date of creation: Aug 2002
Date of revision:
Note: AP PE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-08-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-FMK-2002-08-16 (Financial Markets)
- NEP-PBE-2002-08-16 (Public Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Trzcinka, Charles A, 1982. " The Pricing of Tax-Exempt Bonds and the Miller Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(4), pages 907-23, September.
- James M. Poterba, 1990.
"Tax Reform and the Market For Tax-Exempt Debt,"
NBER Working Papers
2900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shackelford, Douglas A., 1991. "The market for tax benefits : Evidence from leveraged ESOPs," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 117-145, June.
- Kochin, Levis A & Parks, Richard W, 1988. " Was the Tax-Exempt Bond Market Inefficient or Were Future Expected Tax Rates Negative?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(4), pages 913-31, September.
- Kaplan, Steven, 1989. " Management Buyouts: Evidence on Taxes as a," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 611-32, July.
- Buser, Stephen A. & Hess, Patrick J., 1986. "Empirical determinants of the relative yields on taxable and tax-exempt securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 335-355, December.
- Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
- Gentry, William M., 2002. "Debt, investment and endowment accumulation: the case of not-for-profit hospitals," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 845-872, September.
- Joel Slemrod & Timothy Greimel, 1998. "Did Steve Forbes Scare the Municipal Bond Market?," NBER Working Papers 6583, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Graham, John R., 1996. "Proxies for the corporate marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 187-221, October.
- Scholes, Myron S & Wilson, G Peter & Wolfson, Mark A, 1990. "Tax Planning, Regulatory Capital Planning, and Financial Reporting Strategy for Commercial Banks," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(4), pages 625-50.
- Roger H. Gordon & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1991. "Do Tax-Exempt Bonds Really Subsidize Municipal Capital?," NBER Working Papers 3835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Peter Fortune, 1996. "Do municipal bond yields forecast tax policy?," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 29-48.
- Andrea Mattozzi, 2010.
"Policy Uncertainty, Electoral Securities, And Redistribution,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 45-71, 02.
- Andrea Mattozzi, 2003. "Policy Uncertainty, Electoral Securities and Redistribution," Levine's Working Paper Archive 666156000000000260, David K. Levine.
- Mattozzi, Andrea., 2005. "Policy uncertainty, electoral securities and redistribution," Working Papers 1229, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Stuart Landon, 2009.
"The capitalization of taxes in bond prices: Evidence from the market for Government of Canada bonds,"
EERI Research Paper Series
EERI_RP_2009_20, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
- Landon, Stuart, 2009. "The capitalization of taxes in bond prices: Evidence from the market for Government of Canada bonds," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2175-2184, December.
- Landon, Stuart, 2009. "The capitalization of taxes in bond prices: Evidence from the market for Government of Canada bonds," MPRA Paper 15467, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- James M. Poterba & Arturo Ramirez Verdugo, 2008. "Portfolio Substitution and the Revenue Cost of Exempting State and Local Government Interest Payments from Federal Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 14439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.