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What does tax aggressiveness signal? Evidence from stock price reactions to news about tax shelter involvement

  • Hanlon, Michelle
  • Slemrod, Joel

We study the stock price reaction to news about corporate tax aggressiveness. We find that, on average, a company's stock price declines when there is news about its involvement in tax shelters. We find some limited evidence for cross-sectional variation in the reaction. For example, the reaction is more negative for firms in the retail sector, suggesting that part of the reaction may be a consumer/taxpayer backlash. In addition, the reaction is less negative for firms that are viewed to be generally less tax aggressive, as proxied by the firm's cash effective tax rate. We interpret this as being consistent with the market reacting positively to evidence that a firm is trying to reduce taxes when their financial reports would lead one to believe the firm is not tax aggressive.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V76-4THC1B6-1/2/ed1e34f0dbb77dedccfd1d72c531c27e
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (February)
Pages: 126-141

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:1-2:p:126-141
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Desai, Mihir A. & Hines, James R. Jr., 2002. "Expectations and Expatriations: Tracing the Causes and Consequences of Corporate Inversions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(3), pages 409-40, September.
  2. Paul Gompers & Joy Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Corporate Governance And Equity Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 107-155, February.
  3. Graham, John R. & Tucker, Alan L., 2006. "Tax shelters and corporate debt policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 563-594, September.
  4. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
  5. Bosch, Jean-Claude & Eckard, E Woodrow, Jr, 1991. "The Profitability of Price Fixing: Evidence from Stock Market Reaction to Federal Indictments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 309-17, May.
  6. Joel Slemrod, 2004. "The Economics of Corporate Tax Selfishness," NBER Working Papers 10858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Palmrose, Zoe-Vonna & Richardson, Vernon J. & Scholz, Susan, 2004. "Determinants of market reactions to restatement announcements," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 59-89, February.
  8. Garbade, Kenneth D & Silber, William L & White, Lawrence J, 1982. "Market Reaction to the Filing of Antitrust Suits: An Aggregate and Cross-Sectional Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 686-91, November.
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