IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Why do firms hold so much cash? A tax-based explanation

  • Fritz Foley, C.
  • Hartzell, Jay C.
  • Titman, Sheridan
  • Twite, Garry

U.S. corporations hold significant amounts of cash on their balance sheets, and these cash holdings have been justified in the existing empirical literature by transaction costs and precautionary motives. An additional explanation, considered in this study, is that U.S. multinational firms hold cash in their foreign subsidiaries because of the tax costs associated with repatriating foreign income. Consistent with this hypothesis, firms that face higher repatriation tax burdens hold higher levels of cash, hold this cash abroad, and hold this cash in affiliates that trigger high tax costs when repatriating earnings. Estimates indicate that a one standard deviation increase in the tax burden from repatriating foreign income is associated with a 7.9% increase in the ratio of cash to net assets. In addition, certain firms, specifically those that are less financially constrained domestically and those that are more technology intensive, exhibit a higher sensitivity of affiliate cash holdings to repatriation tax burdens.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VBX-4P6M66F-1/2/5535d123c12bccddd45e78b35a356b62
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 579-607

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:86:y:2007:i:3:p:579-607
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576

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.:

as in new window
  1. Grubert, Harry, 1998. "Taxes and the division of foreign operating income among royalties, interest, dividends and retained earnings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 269-290, May.
  2. Andrew B. Lyon & Gerald Silverstein, 1994. "The Alternative Minimum Tax and the Behavior of Multinational Corporations," NBER Working Papers 4783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Harris & Randall Morck & Joel B. Slemrod, 1993. "Income Shifting in U.S. Multinational Corporations," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in International Taxation, pages 277-308 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2002. "Dividend Policy inside the Firm," NBER Working Papers 8698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Olivier J. Blanchard & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane, 1993. "What do Firms do with Cash Windfalls?," NBER Working Papers 4258, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. John R. Graham, 2000. "How Big Are the Tax Benefits of Debt?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 1901-1941, October.
  7. Michael Faulkender & Rong Wang, 2006. "Corporate Financial Policy and the Value of Cash," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1957-1990, 08.
  8. Grubert, Harry & Mutti, John, 1991. "Taxes, Tariffs and Transfer Pricing in Multinational Corporate Decision Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 285-93, May.
  9. Dittmar, Amy & Mahrt-Smith, Jan, 2007. "Corporate governance and the value of cash holdings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 599-634, March.
  10. James R. Hines, Jr. & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1990. "Coming Home to America: Dividend Repatriations by U.S. Multinationals," NBER Working Papers 2931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Mikkelson, Wayne H. & Partch, M. Megan, 2003. "Do Persistent Large Cash Reserves Hinder Performance?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 275-294, June.
  12. David G. Hartman, 1982. "Tax Policy and Foreign Direct Investment in the United States," NBER Working Papers 0967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gordon, Roger H. & Hines, James Jr, 2002. "International taxation," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 28, pages 1935-1995 Elsevier.
  14. Hines, J.R. & Rice, E.M., 1990. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens And American Business," Papers 56, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  15. Ivalina Kalcheva & Karl V. Lins, 2007. "International Evidence on Cash Holdings and Expected Managerial Agency Problems," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 1087-1112.
  16. Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "Scale Economies, the Value of Time, and the Demand for Money: Longitudinal Evidence from Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 1061-79, October.
  17. Graham, John R., 1999. "Do personal taxes affect corporate financing decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 147-185, August.
  18. Tim Opler & Lee Pinkowitz & Rene Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 1997. "The Determinants and Implications of Corporate Cash Holdings," NBER Working Papers 6234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Hartman, David G., 1985. "Tax policy and foreign direct investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 107-121, February.
  20. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
  21. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
  22. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, Jr., 2003. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 9715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Lee Pinkowitz & René Stulz & Rohan Williamson, 2006. "Does the Contribution of Corporate Cash Holdings and Dividends to Firm Value Depend on Governance? A Cross-country Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2725-2751, December.
  24. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2004. "The costs of shared ownership: Evidence from international joint ventures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 323-374, August.
  25. Karni, Edi, 1973. "The Transactions Demand for Cash: Incorporation of the Value of Time into the Inventory Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1216-25, Sept.-Oct.
  26. Thomas W. Bates & Kathleen M. Kahle & Rene M. Stulz, 2006. "Why Do U.S. Firms Hold So Much More Cash Than They Used To?," NBER Working Papers 12534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello & Michael S. Weisbach, 2004. "The Cash Flow Sensitivity of Cash," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1777-1804, 08.
  28. Julie H. Collins & John R. M. Hand & Douglas A. Shackelford, 2000. "Valuing Deferral: The Effect of Permanently Reinvested Foreign Earnings on Stock Prices," NBER Chapters, in: International Taxation and Multinational Activity, pages 143-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Jarrad Harford, 1999. "Corporate Cash Reserves and Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 1969-1997, December.
  30. Lucian Arye Bebchuk & Andrew T. Guzman, 2000. "An Economic Analysis of Transnational Bankruptcies," NBER Working Papers 6521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Graham, John R., 1996. "Debt and the marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 41-73, May.
  32. James R. Hines, Jr., 1996. "Tax Policy and the Activities of Multinational Corporations," NBER Working Papers 5589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "The demand for tax haven operations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 513-531, February.
  34. Kenneth A. Froot & James R. Hines, Jr., 1994. "Interest Allocation Rules, Financing Patterns, and the Operations of U.S. Multinationals," NBER Working Papers 4924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines Jr., 2001. "Repatriation Taxes and Dividend Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Assaf Razin & Joel Slemrod, 1990. "Taxation in the Global Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number razi90-1, December.
  37. John R. Graham & Roni Michaely & Michael R. Roberts, 2003. "Do Price Discreteness and Transactions Costs Affect Stock Returns? Comparing Ex-Dividend Pricing before and after Decimalization," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(6), pages 2611-2636, December.
  38. John R. Graham, 2003. "Taxes and Corporate Finance: A Review," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1075-1129.
  39. Graham, John R., 1996. "Proxies for the corporate marginal tax rate," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 187-221, October.
  40. Hayn, Carla, 1989. "Tax attributes as determinants of shareholder gains in corporate acquisitions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 121-153, June.
  41. Dittmar, Amy & Mahrt-Smith, Jan & Servaes, Henri, 2003. "International Corporate Governance and Corporate Cash Holdings," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(01), pages 111-133, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:86:y:2007:i:3:p:579-607. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.