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Corporate tax, capital structure, and the accessibility of bank loans: Evidence from China

  • Wu, Liansheng
  • Yue, Heng

In this paper, we investigate whether listed firms in China adjust their capital structure in response to an increase in the corporate tax rate. Although theories of capital structure suggest that corporate tax is an important determinant of capital structure, how exogenous changes of the tax rate affect firms' leverage decisions has not been fully explored. We examine a unique circumstance in which the Chinese government increased the corporate tax rate of firms that had previously received local government tax rebates. The evidence indicates that these firms increased their leverage when the corporate tax rate increased. Further investigation suggests that the adjustment of leverage was mostly driven by firms with a high level of access to bank loans.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 30-38

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:33:y:2009:i:1:p:30-38
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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  1. Graham, John R., 1996. "Debt and the marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 41-73, May.
  2. Allen, Franklin & Qian, Jun & Qian, Meijun, 2005. "Law, finance, and economic growth in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 57-116, July.
  3. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  4. Chen, Jean J., 2004. "Determinants of capital structure of Chinese-listed companies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(12), pages 1341-1351, December.
  5. John R. Graham, 2003. "Taxes and Corporate Finance: A Review," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1075-1129.
  6. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Givoly, Dan, et al, 1992. "Taxes and Capital Structure: Evidence from Firms' Response to the Tax Reform Act of 1986," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 331-55.
  9. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
  10. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  11. Graham, John R., 1999. "Do personal taxes affect corporate financing decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 147-185, August.
  12. 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.
  13. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
  14. Scholes, Myron S & Wilson, G Peter & Wolfson, Mark A, 1990. "Tax Planning, Regulatory Capital Planning, and Financial Reporting Strategy for Commercial Banks," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(4), pages 625-50.
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