IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Differential Taxation and Firms' Financial Leverage: Evidence from the Introduction of a Flat Tax on Interest Income

  • Frank M. Fossen
  • Martin Simmler

Tax competition for the mobile factor capital has led to a trend in many countries to levy lower taxes on interest income, often introducing differential taxation between interest and business income. In this study, we analyze the effect of such differential taxation on the debt ratio of firms. We exploit a 2009 tax reform in Germany as a quasi-experiment, which introduced a flat final withholding tax and opened a gap of 18 percentage points between the tax rate on income from unincorporated businesses and the new lower tax rate on interest income. We apply a regression adjusted semi-parametric difference-in-difference matching strategy based on firm level panel data. In addition, we implement a more structural approach with a tax rate differential, taking into account its endogeneity by using instrumental variables. The results indicate that firms increase their leverage when the tax rate on interest income decreases, albeit to a small degree.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.393870.de/dp1190.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1190.

as
in new window

Length: 45 p.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1190
Contact details of provider: Postal: Mohrenstraße 58, D-10117 Berlin
Phone: xx49-30-89789-0
Fax: xx49-30-89789-200
Web page: http://www.diw.de/en
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Dwenger, Nadja & Steiner, Viktor, 2009. "Financial leverage and corporate taxation: Evidence from German corporate tax return data," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 61, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  2. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  3. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen, 2010. "Start-Up Subsidies for the Unemployed: Long-Term Evidence and Effect Heterogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 4790, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Devereux, Michael P & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2002. "Do Countries Compete Over Corporate Tax Rates?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 642, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, 02.
  6. JULES H. van BINSBERGEN & JOHN R. GRAHAM & JIE YANG, 2010. "The Cost of Debt," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2089-2136, December.
  7. Goolsbee, Austan, 1998. "Taxes, organizational form, and the deadweight loss of the corporate income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 143-152, July.
  8. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
  9. Goolsbee, Austan, 2004. "The impact of the corporate income tax: evidence from state organizational form data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2283-2299, September.
  10. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2006. "The Effects of the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut on Corporate Behavior: Interpreting the Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 124-129, May.
  11. Howard Chan & Robert Faff & Alan Ramsay, 2005. "Firm Size and the Information Content of Annual Earnings Announcements: Australian Evidence," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1-2), pages 211-253.
  12. Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie--Mason, 1994. "Tax Distortions to the Choice of Organizational Form," Public Economics 9401004, EconWPA, revised 18 Jan 1994.
  13. Egger, Peter & Koethenbuerger, Marko & Smart, Michael, 2010. "Do fiscal transfers alleviate business tax competition? Evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 235-246, April.
  14. DeAngelo, Harry & Masulis, Ronald W., 1980. "Optimal capital structure under corporate and personal taxation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-29, March.
  15. Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1990. "Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Corporate Financial Policy and Organizational Form," NBER Working Papers 3222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1994. "What Do We Know About Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," NBER Working Papers 4875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Büttner, Thiess, 2005. "The Incentive Effect of Fiscal Equalization Transfers on Tax Policy," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 37, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  19. Graham, John R., 1999. "Do personal taxes affect corporate financing decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 147-185, August.
  20. repec:got:cegedp:37 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  22. Clemens Fuest & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2002. "Tax Competition and Profit Shifting: On the Relationship between Personal and Corporate Tax Rates," CESifo Working Paper Series 781, CESifo Group Munich.
  23. Julian Alworth & Giampaolo Arachi, 2001. "The Effect of Taxes on Corporate Financing Decisions: Evidence from a Panel of Italian Firms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 353-376, August.
  24. Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Heejung Bang & James M. Robins, 2005. "Doubly Robust Estimation in Missing Data and Causal Inference Models," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 962-973, December.
  26. Frank Fossen & Stefan Bach, 2008. "Reforming the German Local Business Tax - Lessons from an International Comparison and a Microsimulation Analysis," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(2), pages 245-272, June.
  27. John R. Graham, 2003. "Taxes and Corporate Finance: A Review," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1075-1129.
  28. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello, 2006. "Financial Constraints, Asset Tangibility, and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 12087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1190. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.