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Employment protection and tax aggressiveness: Evidence from wrongful discharge laws

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  • (DJ) Fairhurst, Douglas
  • Liu, Yanguang
  • Ni, Xiaoran

Abstract

We examine whether labor market frictions affect firms’ tax aggressiveness. Exploiting the adoption of U.S. state-level Wrongful Discharge Laws as a quasi-exogenous shock to a firm's firing costs, we document a decline in tax aggressiveness for firms located in states that increase employment protection. We further show that greater employment protection increases distress risk. The decline in tax aggressiveness is more pronounced for firms that are more vulnerable to financial distress and constrained from external financial markets. Our results imply that firms avoid risky tax positions in order to mitigate increased distress risk due to more rigid labor costs.

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  • (DJ) Fairhurst, Douglas & Liu, Yanguang & Ni, Xiaoran, 2020. "Employment protection and tax aggressiveness: Evidence from wrongful discharge laws," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 119(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:119:y:2020:i:c:s0378426620301734
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2020.105907
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    1. Desheng Yin & Xinting Zhen, 2021. "Employment Protection and Banking Power: Evidence from Adoption of Wrongful Discharge Laws," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(4), pages 1-22, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax aggressiveness; Employment protection; Wrongful Discharge Laws; Firing costs; Distress risk;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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