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How Much Do Taxes Discourage Incorporation?

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  • Mackie-Mason, Jeffrey K
  • Gordon, Roger H

Abstract

The double taxation of corporate income should discourage firms from incorporating. The authors investigate the extent to which the aggregate allocation of assets and taxable income in the United States between corporate and noncorporate firms responds to the size of this tax distortion during the period 1959-86. In theory, profitable firms should shift out of the corporate sector when the tax distortion is large, and conversely for firms with tax losses. The authors' empirical results provide strong support for these forecasts and imply that the resulting excess burden equals 16 percent of business tax revenue. Copyright 1997 by American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Mackie-Mason, Jeffrey K & Gordon, Roger H, 1997. " How Much Do Taxes Discourage Incorporation?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 477-505, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:52:y:1997:i:2:p:477-505
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gordon, Roger H. & MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K., 1994. "Tax distortions to the choice of organizational form," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 279-306, October.
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    4. 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 913-931, September.
    5. Feldstein, Martin & Dicks-Mireaux, Louis & Poterba, James, 1983. "The effective tax rate and the pretax rate of return," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 129-158, July.
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    8. Rosanne Altshuler & Alan J. Auerbach, 1990. "The Significance of Tax Law Asymmetries: An Empirical Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 61-86.
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    10. Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 1043-1092 Elsevier.
    11. Alan J. Auerbach, 1983. "Corporate Taxation in the United States," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(2), pages 451-514.
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    13. Gravelle, Jane G & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1989. "The Incidence and Efficiency Costs of Corporate Taxation When Corporate and Noncorporate Firms Produce the Same Good," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 749-780, August.
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    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

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