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The Equity Trap, the Cost of Capital and the Firm’s Growth Path

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  • Tobias Lindhe
  • Jan Södersten

Abstract

This paper reconsiders Sinn’s (1991) nucleus theory of the corporation by comparing two different regimes for the equity trap. In the first of these, all cash paid to the shareholders is taxed as dividends, in the second, shareholders are allowed a tax-free return of capital contributed through new issues. A substantial difference is found between the regimes in the size of initial equity injections, although in both regimes, no dividends are paid until a new long-run equilibrium is reached. Contrary to Sinn, we find that with optimal behavior, the cost of new equity is lower than suggested by conventional formulae.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Lindhe & Jan Södersten, 2006. "The Equity Trap, the Cost of Capital and the Firm’s Growth Path," CESifo Working Paper Series 1801, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1801
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1801.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Auerbach, Alan J, 1983. "Taxation, Corporate Financial Policy and the Cost of Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 905-940, September.
    2. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1991. "The vanishing harberger triangle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 271-300, August.
    3. Bradford, David F., 1981. "The incidence and allocation effects of a tax on corporate distributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-22, February.
    4. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hassett, Kevin A., 2003. "On the marginal source of investment funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 205-232, January.
    5. Auerbach, Alan J., 2002. "Taxation and corporate financial policy," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 19, pages 1251-1292 Elsevier.
    6. Alan J. Auerbach, 1979. "Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 433-446.
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    Cited by:

    1. Södersten, Jan & Lindhe, Tobias, 2009. "Dividend taxation, share repurchases and the equity trap," Working Paper Series 2009:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Ågren, Martin, 2006. "Prospect Theory and Higher Moments," Working Paper Series 2006:24, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    dividend taxation; equity trap; cost of capital; nucleus theory; growth path;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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