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The Efficiency Cost of Asset Taxation in the U.S. after Accounting for Intangible Assets


  • Estelle P. Dauchy

    () (New Economic School)


This paper comprehensively calculates corporate intangible assets by industry from 1998 to 2009, and evaluates the impact of expensing intangible assets on the cost of capital, the METR, and the welfare cost of inter-asset taxation, under current law and alternative tax policy including recent policy proposals. It also estimates the welfare cost of `leveling the playing field’. I find that capitalizing intangible assets can reduce the METR by up to 28 percentage points in finance. The intangible-inclusive welfare cost of inter-asset taxation is twice as large as a conventional measure under current law, and can be much larger than the tax revenue loss of alternative policy. Leveling the playing field may reduce or increase the deadweight loss of inter-asset taxation. The results provide a valuable input for research estimating the impact of investment tax incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Estelle P. Dauchy, 2013. "The Efficiency Cost of Asset Taxation in the U.S. after Accounting for Intangible Assets," Working Papers w0199, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0199

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bradley, Sebastien & Dauchy, Estelle & Hasegawa, Makoto, 2013. "Investor Valuations of Japan's Adoption of a Territorial Tax Regime: Quantifying the Direct and Competitive Effects of International Tax Reform," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2013-2, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, revised 15 Sep 2014.
    2. Sebastien Bradley & Estelle Dauchy & Leslie Robinson, 2015. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Preliminary Effects of Patent Box Regimes on Patent Activity and Ownership," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 68(4), pages 1047-1072, December.

    More about this item


    Intangible Assets; Cost of Capital; Welfare Cost; Inter-asset Taxation; Bonus Depreciation;

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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