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Are corporate inversions good for shareholders?

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  • Babkin, Anton
  • Glover, Brent
  • Levine, Oliver

Abstract

Corporate inversion, the process of redomiciling for tax purposes, reduces corporate income taxes, but it imposes a personal tax cost that is shareholder-specific. We develop a model, incorporating the corporate tax benefits and personal tax costs, to quantify the return to inversion for different shareholders. Foreign and tax-exempt investors, along with the chief executive officer, disproportionately benefit. We show that an inversion simultaneously reduces the wealth of many taxable shareholders. The model illustrates an agency conflict in which heterogeneity in personal taxes generates a wealth transfer between shareholders. Furthermore, personal taxes offset the loss in government revenue by 39%.

Suggested Citation

  • Babkin, Anton & Glover, Brent & Levine, Oliver, 2017. "Are corporate inversions good for shareholders?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 227-251.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:126:y:2017:i:2:p:227-251
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2017.07.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Albertus, James F. & Glover, Brent & Levine, Oliver, 2019. "Heads I win, tails you lose: Asymmetric taxes, risk taking, and innovation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 24-40.
    2. Laing, Elaine & Gurdgiev, Constantin & Durand, Robert B. & Boermans, Boris, 2019. "U.S. tax inversions and shareholder wealth effects," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 35-52.
    3. von Hagen, Dominik & Pönnighaus, Fabian Nicolas, 2017. "International taxation and M&A prices," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-040, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Adam Hal Spencer, 2020. "Policy effects of international taxation on firm dynamics and capital structure," Discussion Papers 2020-25, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    5. Ban, Mingyuan & Chen, Chang-Chih, 2019. "Ambiguity and capital structure adjustments," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 242-270.
    6. Ying Gan & Buhui Qiu, 2019. "Escape from the USA: Government debt-to-GDP ratio, country tax competitiveness, and US-OECD cross-border M&As," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 50(7), pages 1156-1183, September.
    7. Madhuparna Kolay, 2018. "Stockholder Wealth Effects of Corporate Inversions: Is It just Tax or Does Governance Matter too?," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 14, pages 83-97, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate governance; Fiduciary duty; Shareholder conflicts; Tax-clientele effects; Mergers and acquisitions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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