IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

How Big Is the Tax Advantage to Debt?

  • Kane, Alex
  • Marcus, Alan J
  • McDonald, Robert L

This paper uses an option valuation model of the firm to answer the question, "What magnitude tax advantage to debt is consistent with the range of observed corporate debt ratios?" We incorporate into the model differential personal tax rates on capital gains and ordinary income. We conclude that variations in the magnitude of bankruptcy costs across firms can not by itself account for the simultaneous existence of levered and unlevered firms. When it is possible for the value of the underlying assets to junip discretely to zero, differences across firms in the probability of this jump can account for the simultaneous existence of levered and unlevered firms. Moreover, if the tax advantage to debt is small, the annual rate of return advantage offered by optimal leverage may be so small as to make the firm indifferent about debt policy over a wide range of debt-to-firm value ratios.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If 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.

File URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-1082%28198407%2939%3A3%3C841%3AHBITTA%3E2.0.CO%3B2-0&origin=repec
File Function: full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to JSTOR subscribers. See http://www.jstor.org for details.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 39 (1984)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 841-53

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:39:y:1984:i:3:p:841-53
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.afajof.org/

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.afajof.org/membership/join.asp

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
  2. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  3. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  4. James H. Scott Jr., 1976. "A Theory of Optimal Capital Structure," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
  5. Kim, E Han, 1978. "A Mean-Variance Theory of Optimal Capital Structure and Corporate Debt Capacity," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 45-63, March.
  6. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Edwardo S, 1978. "Corporate Income Taxes, Valuation, and the Problem of Optimal Capital Structure," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 103-14, January.
  7. R. C. Merton, 1970. "Optimum Consumption and Portfolio Rules in a Continuous-time Model," Working papers 58, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  9. Constantinides, George M, 1978. "Market Risk Adjustment in Project Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(2), pages 603-16, May.
  10. Galai, Dan & Masulis, Ronald W., 1976. "The option pricing model and the risk factor of stock," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1-2), pages 53-81.
  11. Fischer, Stanley, 1978. "Call Option Pricing when the Exercise Price Is Uncertain, and the Valuation of Index Bonds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(1), pages 169-76, March.
  12. DeAngelo, Harry & Masulis, Ronald W., 1980. "Optimal capital structure under corporate and personal taxation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-29, March.
  13. McDonald, Robert & Siegel, Daniel, 1984. " Option Pricing When the Underlying Asset Earns a Below-Equilibrium Rate of Return: A Note," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(1), pages 261-65, March.
  14. Stephen A. Ross, 1977. "The Determination of Financial Structure: The Incentive-Signalling Approach," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 23-40, Spring.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:39:y:1984:i:3:p:841-53. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.