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Tax Policy and Heterogeneous Investment Behavior

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  • Eric Zwick
  • James Mahon

Abstract

We estimate the effect of temporary tax incentives on equipment investment using shifts in accelerated depreciation. Analyzing data for over 120,000 firms, we present three findings. First, bonus depreciation raised investment in eligible capital relative to ineligible capital by 10.4 percent between 2001 and 2004 and 16.9 percent between 2008 and 2010. Second, small firms respond 95 percent more than big firms. Third, firms respond strongly when the policy generates immediate cash flows, but not when cash flows only come in the future. This heterogeneity materially affects investment-weighted estimates and supports models in which financial frictions or fixed costs amplify investment responses.

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  • Eric Zwick & James Mahon, 2017. "Tax Policy and Heterogeneous Investment Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 217-248, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:1:p:217-48
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20140855
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:25:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10797-017-9438-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Michael Cooper & John McClelland & James Pearce & Richard Prisinzano & Joseph Sullivan & Danny Yagan & Owen Zidar & Eric Zwick, 2016. "Business in the United States: Who Owns It, and How Much Tax Do They Pay?," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 91-128.
    3. repec:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:272-301 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daniel Green & Brian T. Melzer & Jonathan A. Parker & Arcenis Rojas, 2016. "Accelerator or Brake? Cash for Clunkers, Household Liquidity, and Aggregate Demand," NBER Working Papers 22878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2017. "Geographic Cross-Sectional Fiscal Multipliers: What Have We Learned?," Working Paper 458091, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    6. Nathaniel Hilger, 2017. "All Together Now: Leveraging Firms to Increase Worker Productivity Growth," NBER Working Papers 23905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jean-Noel Barrot & Ramana Nanda, 2016. "Can Paying Firms Quicker Affect Aggregate Employment?," NBER Working Papers 22420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jean-Noel Barrot & Ramana Nanda, 2016. "Can Paying Firms More Quickly Affect Aggregate Employment?," Harvard Business School Working Papers 17-004, Harvard Business School, revised Jan 2017.
    9. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2017. "Geographic Cross-Sectional Fiscal Spending Multipliers: What Have We Learned?," NBER Working Papers 23577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Yongzheng Liu & Jie Mao, 2017. "How do Tax Incentives Affect Investment and Productivity? Firm-Level Evidence from China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1716, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    11. Eric Zwick & James Mahon, 2017. "Tax Policy and Heterogeneous Investment Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 217-248, January.
    12. Emmanuel Saez & Benjamin Schoefer & David Seim, 2017. "Payroll Taxes, Firm Behavior, and Rent Sharing: Evidence from a Young Workers' Tax Cut in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 23976, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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