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Dividend Taxation and Corporate Governance

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  • Randall Morck
  • Bernard Yeung

Abstract

In 2003, the United States enacted a tax reform that reduced, but did not eliminate, individual dividend income taxes. Cutting the dividend tax deprives corporate insiders of a justification for retaining earnings to build unprofitable corporate empires. But not eliminating it entirely preserves an advantage for institutional investors, who can put pressure on underperforming managers. This balance is broadly appropriate in the United States—whose large companies are freestanding and widely held. In addition, preserving the existing tax on intercorporate dividends, in place since the Roosevelt era, discourages the pyramidal corporate groups commonplace in other countries, and preserves America's large corporate sector of free-standing widely held firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung, 2005. "Dividend Taxation and Corporate Governance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 163-180, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:19:y:2005:i:3:p:163-180
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/089533005774357752
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Vito Polito, 2012. "Up or Down? Capital Income Taxation in the United States and the United Kingdom," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 68(1), pages 48-82, March.
    2. Wen-Hsiu Chou & William Hardin & Matthew Hill & G. Kelly, 2013. "Dividends, Values and Agency Costs in REITs," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 91-114, January.
    3. Magnus Henrekson & Tino Sanandaji, 2011. "Entrepreneurship and the theory of taxation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 167-185, September.
    4. Giovanna Nicodano & Luca Regis, 2014. "Complex organizations, tax policy and financial stability," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 359, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2015.
    5. Becker-Ritterspach, Florian & Bruche, Gert, 2012. "Capability creation and internationalization with business group embeddedness – the case of Tata Motors in passenger cars," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 232-247.
    6. Langlois, Richard N., 2013. "Business groups and the natural state," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 14-26.
    7. Randall Morck, 2011. "Finance and Governance in Developing Economies," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 375-406, December.
    8. Alzahrani, Mohammed & Lasfer, Meziane, 2012. "Investor protection, taxation, and dividends," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 745-762.
    9. Amoako-Adu, Ben & Baulkaran, Vishaal & Smith, Brian F., 2014. "Analysis of dividend policy of dual and single class U.S corporations," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-29.
    10. Giovanna Nicodano & Luca Regis, 2015. "Ownership, Taxes and Default," Working Papers 7/2015, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca, revised Jul 2015.
    11. Ferrell, Allen & Liang, Hao & Renneboog, Luc, 2016. "Socially responsible firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 585-606.
    12. Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung, 2017. "East Asian Financial and Economic Development," Working Papers id:12112, eSocialSciences.
    13. Hsien-Chang Kuo & Lie-Huey Wang, 2015. "Do Network Linkages affect Financial Leverage ? A Group Governance Perspective," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(4), pages 50-69, December.
    14. repec:eee:jbvent:v:32:y:2017:i:6:p:674-693 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Dang, Tri Vi & He, Qing, 2016. "Bureaucrats as successor CEOs," BOFIT Discussion Papers 13/2016, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    16. Luca Enriques & Paolo Volpin, 2007. "Corporate Governance Reforms in Continental Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 117-140, Winter.
    17. von Eije, Henk & Megginson, William L., 2008. "Dividends and share repurchases in the European Union," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 347-374, August.
    18. González, Maximiliano & Guzmán, Alexander & Pombo, Carlos & Trujillo, María Andréa, 2013. "Corporate governance mechanisms in family firms: Evidence from CEO turnovers," Galeras. Working Papers Series 037, Universidad de Los Andes. Facultad de Administración. School of Management.
    19. Bank, Steven & Cheffins, Brian & Goergen, Marc, 2009. "Dividends and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 208-224, June.

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