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Dividend Taxation, Share Repurchases and the Equity Trap

  • Tobias Lindhe
  • Jan Södersten

This paper reconsiders the effects of dividend taxation. Particular attention is paid to the form of the “equity trap”, that is, the extent to which cash paid to the shareholders must be taxed as dividends. Our analysis shows that Sinn’s (1991) criticism of the well-known King and Fullerton (1984) methodology for underestimating the cost of new share issues amounts to a misleading comparison across two different regimes for the equity trap. Contrary to Sinn, we find that when dividends are paid following a new issue, as assumed by King-Fullerton, the cost of capital is higher than is the case when no dividends are paid.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2652.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2652
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  1. David F. Bradford, 1979. "The Incidence and Allocation Effects of a Tax on Corporate Distributions," NBER Working Papers 0349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lindhe, Tobias & Södersten, Jan, 2006. "The Equity Trap, the Cost of Capital and the Firm´s Growth Path," Working Paper Series 2006:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Kevin A. Hassett & Alan J. Auerbach, 2005. "The 2003 Dividend Tax Cuts and the Value of the Firm," Working Papers 49878, American Enterprise Institute.
  4. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1991. "The vanishing harberger triangle," Munich Reprints in Economics 19842, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1991. "Share repurchases, the ’new’ view, and the cost of capital," Munich Reprints in Economics 19844, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1991. "Taxation and the Cost of Capital: The "Old" View, the "New" View, and Another View," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 25-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alan J. Auerbach, 1982. "Taxation, Corporate Financial Policy and the Cost of Capital," NBER Working Papers 1026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2000. "On the Marginal Source of Investment Funds," NBER Working Papers 7821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Auerbach, Alan J, 1979. "Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 433-46, August.
  11. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1984. "The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number king84-1, 07.
  12. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  13. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2005. "The 2003 Dividend Tax Cuts and the Value of the Firm: An Event Study," NBER Working Papers 11449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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