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Debt, Leases, Taxes, and the Endogeneity of Corporate Tax Status

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Listed:
  • John R. Graham

    (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University,)

  • Michael L. Lemmon

    (College of Business, Arizona State University,)

  • James S. Schallheim

    (David Eccles School of Business, The University of Utah)

Abstract

We provide evidence that corporate tax status is endogenous to financing decisions, which induces a spurious relation between measures of financial policy and many commonly used tax proxies. Using a forward-looking estimate of "before-financing" corporate marginal tax rates, we document a negative relation between operating leases and tax rates, and a positive relation between debt "levels" and tax rates. This is the first unambiguous evidence supporting the hypothesis that low tax rate firms lease more, and have lower debt levels, than high tax rate firms. Copyright The American Finance Association 1998.

Suggested Citation

  • John R. Graham & Michael L. Lemmon & James S. Schallheim, 1998. "Debt, Leases, Taxes, and the Endogeneity of Corporate Tax Status," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 131-162, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:53:y:1998:i:1:p:131-162
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