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Tax-Exempt Debt and the Capital Structure of Nonprofit Organizations: An Application to Hospitals

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  • Wedig, Gerard J
  • Hassan, Mahmud
  • Morrisey, Michael A

Abstract

The availability of tax-exempt financing provides nonprofit (NP) organizations with their own tax-based incentives to issue debt. In this article, we develop a theoretical model in which NPs gain an indirect arbitrage from tax-exempt debt issuance, constrained by: (1) the requirement that fixed investment exceed tax-exempt debt flows (the project financing constraint), and (2) the constraint against share issuance. These constraints cause them to impute tax benefits to projects that afford access to the tax-exempt bond market. Empirical tests indicate that NP hospitals behave as if they have target levels of tax-exempt debt. Debt targeting is constrained by the availability of capital projects, while excess debt capacity stimulates investment. Copyright 1996 by American Finance Association.

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  • Wedig, Gerard J & Hassan, Mahmud & Morrisey, Michael A, 1996. " Tax-Exempt Debt and the Capital Structure of Nonprofit Organizations: An Application to Hospitals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1247-1283, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:51:y:1996:i:4:p:1247-83
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    Cited by:

    1. William M. Gentry & John Penrod, 2000. "The Tax Benefits of Not-for-Profit Hospitals," NBER Chapters, in: The Changing Hospital Industry: Comparing Not-for-Profit and For-Profit Institutions, pages 285-324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Margaret Lamb & Andrew Lymer, 1999. "Taxation research in an accounting context: future prospects and interdisciplinary perspectives," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 749-776.
    3. 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.
    4. Mahmud Hassan & Gerard Wedig & Michael Morrisey, 2000. "Charity Care by Non-profit Hospitals: The Price of Tax-exempt Debt," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 47-62.
    5. Miglo, Anton, 2004. "Pecking order theory for government finance," MPRA Paper 89017, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2018.
    6. Jill R. Horwitz, 2005. "Does Corporate Ownership Matter? Service Provision in the Hospital Industry," NBER Working Papers 11376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Mariarosa Scarlata & Luisa Alemany, 2010. "Deal Structuring in Philanthropic Venture Capital Investments: Financing Instrument, Valuation and Covenants," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 121-145, September.
    8. Daniel Friesner & Robert Rosenman, 2002. "A Dynamic Property Rights Theory of the Firm," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 311-333.

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