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Inflation and the Choice of Asset Life

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  • Auerbach, Alan J

Abstract

Given the current corporate tax structure in the U.S., inflation may have an important impact on the production decisions of firms, notably the choice of capital durability. This paper presents a model of competitive behavior in which firms may choose the durability of their capital goods. We find that in the presence of inflation, the taxation of corporate profits may influence both the choice of asset life and the market value of equity. In particular, the failure to index depreciation allowances depresses share values and biases the choice of asset life toward greater durability. Integrating this analysis with the traditional one-sector monetary growth model, we study the general equilibrium impact of inflation on such long run characteristics of the economy as output per capita and the real rate of return received by investors.
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  • Auerbach, Alan J, 1979. "Inflation and the Choice of Asset Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 621-638, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:87:y:1979:i:3:p:621-38
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aaron, Henry J, 1976. "Inflation and the Income Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 193-199, May.
    2. Martin Feldstein & Lawrence Summers, 1977. "Is the Rate of Profit Falling?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(1), pages 211-228.
    3. 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.
    4. Martin Feldstein & Jerry Green & Eytan Sheshinski, 1983. "Inflation and Taxes in a Growing Economy with Debt and Equity Finance," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 44-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Swan, Peter L, 1970. "Durability of Consumption Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 884-894, December.
    6. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Inflation, Income Taxes, and the Rate of Interest: A Theoretical Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 28-43 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. James Tobin & William C. Brainard, 1976. "Asset Markets and the Cost of Capital," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 427, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    8. King, Mervyn A., 1975. "Taxation, corporate financial policy, and the cost of capital : A comment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 271-279, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Feldstein, 1979. "Adjusting Depreciation in an Inflationary Economy: Indexing versus Acceleration," NBER Working Papers 0395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Auerbach, Alan J, 1981. "A Note on the Efficient Design of Investment Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(361), pages 217-223, March.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines, Jr., 1987. "Anticipated Tax Changes and the Timing of Investment," NBER Chapters,in: Taxes and Capital Formation, pages 85-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jianjun Miao & Danyang Xie, "undated". "Monetary Policy and Economic Growth under Money Illusion," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2007-045, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    5. Guo, Jang-Ting & Lansing, Kevin J., 1999. "Optimal taxation of capital income with imperfectly competitive product markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(7), pages 967-995, June.
    6. Roger H. Gordon, 1981. "Taxation of Corporate Capital Income: Tax Revenues vs. Tax Distortions," NBER Working Papers 0687, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "The Importance of Measurement Error in the Cost of Capital," NBER Working Papers 7558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Goolsbee, Austan, 2004. "Taxes and the quality of capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 519-543, March.
    9. Manuel Espitia & Francisco-Javier Ruiz, 1997. "Ex—dividend day stock price falls on the Spanish stock market," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(5), pages 481-492.
    10. Auerbach, Alan J, 1981. "Inflation and the Tax Treatment of Firm Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 419-423, May.
    11. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1991. "The non-neutrality of inflation for international capital movements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, January.
    12. David F. Bradford, 1981. "Issues in the Design of Saving and Investment Incentives," NBER Working Papers 0637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines Jr., 1986. "Tax Reform, Investment, and the Value of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 1803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Alexander David & Pietro Veronesi, 2009. "What Ties Return Volatilities to Price Valuations and Fundamentals?," NBER Working Papers 15563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E., 1995. "Growth and the effects of inflation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1405-1428, November.
    16. Robert S. Chirinko, 1985. "The Ineffectiveness of Effective Tax Rates on Business Investment," NBER Working Papers 1704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Norén, Ronny, 2001. "Endogenous Disinvestment Activities and the Transformation to a new Equilibrium. A computable general equilibrium approach," Umeå Economic Studies 569, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    18. Cohen, Darrel S. & Hassett, Kevin A., 1999. "Inflation, Taxes, and the Durability of Capital," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(1), pages 91-98, March.
    19. Rioja, Felix K., 2003. "Filling potholes: macroeconomic effects of maintenance versus new investments in public infrastructure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2281-2304, September.
    20. Benge, M., 1999. "The Ralph Report Depreciation Proposals and Investment Neutrality," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 1999-371, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    21. Okada, Yosuke, 2005. "Competition and productivity in Japanese manufacturing industries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 586-616, December.

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