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Taxation and Capital Structure Choice – Evidence from a Panel of German Multinationals

Author

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  • Thiess Büttner
  • Michael Overesch
  • Ulrich Schreiber
  • Georg Wamser

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of taxes and lending conditions on the financial structure of multinationals' foreign affiliates. The empirical analysis employs a large panel of affiliates of German multinationals in 26 countries in the period from 1996 until 2003. In accordance with the theoretical predictions, the effect of local taxes on leverage is positive for both types of debt. Moreover, while adverse local credit market conditions are found to reduce external borrowing, internal debt is increasing, supporting the view that the two channels of debt finance are substitutes.

Suggested Citation

  • Thiess Büttner & Michael Overesch & Ulrich Schreiber & Georg Wamser, 2006. "Taxation and Capital Structure Choice – Evidence from a Panel of German Multinationals," CESifo Working Paper Series 1841, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1841
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1841.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K, 1990. " Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1471-1493, December.
    2. Altshuler, Rosanne & Grubert, Harry, 2003. "Repatriation taxes, repatriation strategies and multinational financial policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 73-107, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    5. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2004. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2451-2487, December.
    6. Jack Mintz & Alfons J. Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. James R. Hines & Eric M. Rice, 1994. "Fiscal Paradise: Foreign Tax Havens and American Business," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 149-182.
    8. Mintz, Jack & Smart, Michael, 2004. "Income shifting, investment, and tax competition: theory and evidence from provincial taxation in Canada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1149-1168, June.
    9. John R. Graham, 2003. "Taxes and Corporate Finance: A Review," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1075-1129.
    10. Harry Grubert, 2003. "The Tax Burden on Cross-Border Investment: Company Strategies and Country Responses," CESifo Working Paper Series 964, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jarle Møen & Dirk Schindler & Guttorm Schjelderup & Julia Tropina, 2011. "International Debt Shifting: Do Multinationals Shift Internal or External Debt?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-40, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    2. Overesch, Michael & Wamser, Georg, 2006. "German inbound investment, corporate tax planning, and thin-capitalization rules: a difference-in-differences approach," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-075, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Thiess Büttner & Georg Wamser, 2007. "Intercompany Loans and Profit Shifting – Evidence from Company-Level Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 1959, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Matthias Stöckl & Hannes Winner, "undated". "Capital Structure and Corporate Taxation. Empirical Evidence from European Panel Data," WIFO Working Papers 422, WIFO.
    5. Martin Ruf, 2011. "Why is the Response of Multinationals' Capital-Structure Choice to Tax Incentives That Low? Some Possible Explanations," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 67(2), pages 123-144, June.
    6. Andreas Haufler & Marco Runkel, 2008. "Firms’ Financial Choices and Thin Capitalization Rules under Corporate Tax Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 2429, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Overesch, Michael & Schreiber, Ulrich, 2006. "Does accounting for taxes on income provide information about tax planning performance? Evidence from German multinationals," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-072, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Francesca Barion & Raffaele Miniaci & Paolo M Panteghini & Maria Laura Parisi, 2010. "Profit shifting by debt financing in Europe," Working Papers 1007, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
    9. Schreiber, Ulrich & Overesch, Michael & Büttner, Thiess & Wamser, Georg, 2006. "The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals? Financing and Investment Decisions," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-068, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Haufler, Andreas & Runkel, Marco, 2012. "Firms' financial choices and thin capitalization rules under corporate tax competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1087-1103.
    11. Giorgia Maffini, 2012. "Territoriality, Worldwide Principle, and Competitiveness of Multinationals: A Firm-level Analysis of Tax Burdens," Working Papers 1210, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    12. Anna Gumpert & James R. Hines, Jr. & Monika Schnitzer, 2011. "The Use of Tax Havens in Exemption Regimes," NBER Working Papers 17644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Kesternich, Iris & Schnitzer, Monika, 2010. "Who is afraid of political risk? Multinational firms and their choice of capital structure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 208-218, November.
    14. Møen, Jarle & Schindler, Dirk & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2008. "Capital Structure and International Debt Shifting: A Comment," Discussion Papers 2008/15, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
    15. Stöckl Matthias & Winner Hannes, 2013. "Körperschaftsbesteuerung und Unternehmensverschuldung: Evidenz aus einem Europäischen Firmenpanel / Capital Structure and Corporate Taxation: Empirical Evidence from European Panel Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(2), pages 188-205, April.
    16. Bauer, Christian J. & Langenmayr, Dominika, 2013. "Sorting into outsourcing: Are profits taxed at a gorilla's arm's length?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 326-336.
    17. Schindler, Dirk & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2008. "Multinationals, Minority Ownership and Tax-Efficient Financing Structures," Discussion Papers 2008/19, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.

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    Keywords

    corporate income tax; multinationals; capital structure; firm-level data;

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