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Corporate Tax Avoidance and Firm Value

Author

Listed:
  • Mihir A Desai

    (Harvard University and NBER)

  • Dhammika Dharmapala

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

Do corporate tax avoidance activities advance shareholder interests? This paper tests alternative theories of corporate tax avoidance using unexplained differences between income reported to capital markets and to tax authorities. OLS estimates indicate that the effect of tax avoidance on firm value is a function of firm governance, as predicted by an agency perspective on corporate tax avoidance. Instrumental variables estimates based on exogenous changes in tax regulations yield larger overall effects and reinforce the basic result, as do several robustness checks. The results suggest that the simple view of corporate tax avoidance as a transfer of resources from the state to shareholders is incomplete given the agency problems characterizing shareholder-manager relations. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Mihir A Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala, 2009. "Corporate Tax Avoidance and Firm Value," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 537-546, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:91:y:2009:i:3:p:537-546
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law

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