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Taxation, Uncertainty, and the Cost of Equity

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  • Diderik Lund

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Abstract

Traditionally the pre-tax cost of capital is a function of the interest rate and the tax system. However, uncertainty implies that the market's required return is no single interest rate, but depends on risk. Different tax systems split risk differently between firm and government. Thus the required expected return after corporate taxes depends on the tax system. Expressions for this are derived, based on a CAPM-type model. The weighted average cost of capital is decreasing in the tax rate, even for fully equity financed projects. This effect can be substantial, but is neglected in much of the literature. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Diderik Lund, 2002. "Taxation, Uncertainty, and the Cost of Equity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 483-503, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:4:p:483-503
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1016576305306
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McKenzie, Kenneth J, 1993. "Neutral Ex Ante Income Taxation in the Presence of Adjustment Costs and Risk," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(2), pages 250-267.
    2. Lund, Diderik, 2006. "Valuation, leverage and the cost of capital in the case of depreciable assets," Working Papers 03-2003, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    3. Peter Sørensen, 1994. "From the global income tax to the dual income tax: Recent tax reforms in the Nordic countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 1(1), pages 57-79, February.
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    7. Paul A. Samuelson, 1964. "Tax Deductibility of Economic Depreciation to Insure Invariant Valuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 604-604.
    8. Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Investment Incentives and the Discounting of Depreciation Allowances," NBER Chapters,in: The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, pages 295-304 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
    10. Heaps, Terry & Helliwell, John F., 1985. "The taxation of natural resources," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 421-472 Elsevier.
    11. Lund, Diderik, 1992. "Petroleum taxation under uncertainty: contingent claims analysis with an application to Norway," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 23-31, January.
    12. Lessard, Donald R., 1979. "Evaluating foreign projects : an adjusted present value approach," Working papers 1062-79., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    13. Paul G. Bradley, 1998. "On the Use of Modern Asset Pricing for Comparing Alternative Royalty Systems for Petroleum Development Projects," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 47-81.
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    15. Bulow, Jeremy I & Summers, Lawrence H, 1984. "The Taxation of Risky Assets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 20-39, February.
    16. Graham, John R. & Harvey, Campbell R., 2001. "The theory and practice of corporate finance: evidence from the field," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 187-243, May.
    17. Constantinides, George M, 1978. "Market Risk Adjustment in Project Valuation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(2), pages 603-616, May.
    18. David Laughton, 1998. "The Management of Flexibility in the Upstream Petroleum Industry," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 83-114.
    19. Fane, G., 1987. "Neutral taxation under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 95-105, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lund, Diderik, 2006. "Valuation, leverage and the cost of capital in the case of depreciable assets," Working Papers 03-2003, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    2. Peter Sørensen, 2005. "Neutral Taxation of Shareholder Income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(6), pages 777-801, November.
    3. Devereux, Michael P., 2003. "Taxing Risky Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Lund, Diderik, 2009. "Marginal versus Average Beta of Equity under Corporate Taxation," Memorandum 12/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    5. Peter Birch Sørensen, 2003. "Neutral Taxation of Shareholder Income: A Norwegian Tax Reform Proposal," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-06, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    6. Lund, Diderik, 2006. "Taxation and systematic risk under decreasing returns to scale," Working Papers 02-2003, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    7. Peter Birch Sørensen, 2003. "Neutral Taxation of Shareholder Income: A Norwegian Tax Reform Proposal," CESifo Working Paper Series 1036, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. repec:eee:eneeco:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:442-455 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lund, Diderik, 2005. "An analytical model of required returns to equity under taxation with imperfect loss offset," Memorandum 13/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.

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