Taxation and capital structure: Empirical evidence from a quasi-experiment in China
China's new Corporate Income Tax Law was passed in March 2007 and took effect on January 1, 2008. It terminated the dual corporate income tax regime by removing the preferential tax treatments offered to foreign investment enterprises (FIEs) and unifying the corporate income tax regime for FIEs and Chinese domestic enterprises (DEs). This paper uses a difference-in-differences approach to determine whether FIEs responded to the law by raising debt ratios. Employing the Chinese Industrial Enterprises Database from 2002 to 2008 to implement the analysis, we find that FIEs have responded to the law by raising debt ratios; the treatment effect is larger for Hong Kong–Macau–Taiwan (HMT) investment enterprises than for other FIEs, which implies that HMT investment enterprises are more sensitive and more responsive to the removal of the preferential tax treatments than other FIEs; and the treatment effect by restricting the control group to State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) is less than that by restricting the control group to Private-Owned Enterprises (POEs), which is consistent with the perception that SOEs might enjoy more favorable treatments from the Chinese government than POEs. All three findings are consistent with the tax-based theories of capital structure, and hence we conclude that taxation plays an important role in the choice of capital structure. We argue that our conclusion is not China-specific, but a general lesson for modern finance theory and is portable to developed countries.
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.
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.
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.:
- Jian Chen & Roger Strange, 2005. "The Determinants of Capital Structure: Evidence from Chinese Listed Companies," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 11-35, 03.
- Bradley, Michael & Jarrell, Gregg A & Kim, E Han, 1984. " On the Existence of an Optimal Capital Structure: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 857-78, July.
- 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, 02.
- Kraus, Alan & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1973. "A State-Preference Model of Optimal Financial Leverage," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 28(4), pages 911-22, September.
- Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1994.
"What Do We Know About Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data,"
NBER Working Papers
4875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-60, December.
- John R. Graham, 2003. "Taxes and Corporate Finance: A Review," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1075-1129.
- Hovakimian, Armen & Opler, Tim & Titman, Sheridan, 2001. "The Debt-Equity Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(01), pages 1-24, March.
- Graham, John R., 1996. "Debt and the marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 41-73, May.
- Laurence Booth, 2001.
"Capital Structures in Developing Countries,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 87-130, 02.
- Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
- Huang, Guihai & Song, Frank M., 2006. "The determinants of capital structure: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 14-36.
- Barclay, Michael J & Smith, Clifford W, Jr, 1995. " The Priority Structure of Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(3), pages 899-917, July.
- Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, 1988.
"Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?,"
NBER Working Papers
2632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
- Titman, Sheridan, 1984. "The effect of capital structure on a firm's liquidation decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 137-151, March.
- Fan, Joseph P.H. & Wei, K.C. John & Xu, Xinzhong, 2011. "Corporate finance and governance in emerging markets: A selective review and an agenda for future research," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 207-214, April.
- Chen, Jean J., 2004. "Determinants of capital structure of Chinese-listed companies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(12), pages 1341-1351, December.
- Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross-Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, 08.
- 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.
- Todd C. Pulvino, 1998. "Do Asset Fire Sales Exist? An Empirical Investigation of Commercial Aircraft Transactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 939-978, 06.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:18:y:2012:i:4:p:683-689. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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.