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The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on External Debt Usage – A Propensity Score Matching Approach

Listed author(s):
  • Georg Wamser

This paper analyzes how multinational enterprises respond to a restriction on interest deductions incurred for internal borrowing. The emphasis of the study is on a firm’s response with respect to external borrowing. The empirical investigation applies propensity score matching techniques and exploits the 2001 reform of the German thin-capitalization rule to solve endogeneity problems. The results suggest that restrictions on internal debt are associated with expansions in external debt finance, indicating a substitutional relationship. Since multinational enterprises can use internal debt to shift profits from high- to low-tax countries, this finding implies that policies aimed at securing corporate tax revenue possibly fail and should be subject to careful scrutiny by policymakers.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/IfoWorkingPaper-62.pdf
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Paper provided by ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series ifo Working Paper Series with number 62.

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Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_62
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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. Gopalan, Radhakrishnan & Nanda, Vikram & Seru, Amit, 2007. "Affiliated firms and financial support: Evidence from Indian business groups," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 759-795, December.
  3. Fred Ramb & Alfons J. Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxes and the Financial Structure of German Inward FDI," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 141(4), pages 670-692, December.
  4. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2009. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  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. Thiess Buettner & Michael Overesch & Ulrich Schreiber & Georg Wamser, 2006. "The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals' Financing and Investment Decisions," Working Papers 2006-06, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  7. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Econometric Causality," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 76(1), pages 1-27, 04.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Rita de la Feria & Ana Paula Dourado, 2008. "Thin Capitalization Rules in the Context of the CCCTB," Working Papers 0804, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  11. Jack Mintz & Alfons J. Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Stewart C. Myers, 2001. "Capital Structure," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 81-102, Spring.
  13. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
  14. Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Helen Windischbauer, 2008. "Thin-Capitalization Rules and Company Responses Experience from German Legislation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2456, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Jack Mintz, 2008. "What determines the use of holding companies and ownership chains?," Working Papers 0803, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  16. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2004. "The costs of shared ownership: Evidence from international joint ventures," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 323-374, August.
  17. John R. Graham, 2003. "Taxes and Corporate Finance: A Review," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1075-1129.
  18. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  19. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
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