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Corporate Governance, Incentives, and Tax Avoidance

  • Armstrong, Christopher S.

    (University of PA)

  • Blouin, Jennifer L.

    (University of PA)

  • Jagolinzer, Alan D.

    (University of CO)

  • Larcker, David F.

    (Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University)

Registered author(s):

    We examine the link between corporate governance, managerial incentives, and corporate tax avoidance. Similar to other investment opportunities that involve risky expected cash flows, unresolved agency problems may lead managers to engage in more or less corporate tax avoidance than shareholders would otherwise prefer. Consistent with the mixed results reported in prior studies, we find no relation between various corporate governance mechanisms and tax avoidance at the conditional mean and median of the tax avoidance distribution. However, using quantile regression, we find a positive relation between board independence and financial sophistication for low levels of tax avoidance, but a negative relation for high levels of tax avoidance. These results indicate that these governance attributes have a stronger relation with more extreme levels of tax avoidance, which are more likely to be symptomatic of over- and under-investment by managers.

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    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 2134.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2015
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2134
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015

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    1. Mihir A. Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala, 2004. "Corporate Tax Avoidance and High Powered Incentives," NBER Working Papers 10471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Gupta, Sanjay & Newberry, Kaye, 1997. "Determinants of the variability in corporate effective tax rates: Evidence from longitudinal data," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-34.
    3. Bushman, Robert & Chen, Qi & Engel, Ellen & Smith, Abbie, 2004. "Financial accounting information, organizational complexity and corporate governance systems," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 167-201, June.
    4. Shackelford, Douglas A. & Shevlin, Terry, 2001. "Empirical tax research in accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 321-387, September.
    5. Christopher S. Armstrong & Alan D. Jagolinzer & David F. Larcker, 2010. "Chief Executive Officer Equity Incentives and Accounting Irregularities," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 225-271, 05.
    6. Mihir A Desai & Dhammika Dharmapala, 2009. "Corporate Tax Avoidance and Firm Value," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 537-546, August.
    7. Kong-Pin Chen & C.Y. Cyrus Chu, 2005. "Internal Control vs. External Manipulation: A Model of Corporate Income Tax Evasion," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 151-164, Winter.
    8. Slemrod, Joel, 2004. "The Economics of Corporate Tax Selfishness," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(4), pages 877-99, December.
    9. Keith J. Crocker & Joel Slemrod, 2004. "Corporate Tax Evasion with Agency Costs," NBER Working Papers 10690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Milton Harris & Artur Raviv, 2008. "A Theory of Board Control and Size," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1797-1832, July.
    11. Hanlon, Michelle & Heitzman, Shane, 2010. "A review of tax research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 127-178, December.
    12. Eliezer M. Fich & Anil Shivdasani, 2006. "Are Busy Boards Effective Monitors?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(2), pages 689-724, 04.
    13. Desai, Mihir A. & Dyck, Alexander & Zingales, Luigi, 2007. "Theft and taxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 591-623, June.
    14. Minnick, Kristina & Noga, Tracy, 2010. "Do corporate governance characteristics influence tax management?," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 703-718, December.
    15. John Core, 2002. "Estimating the Value of Employee Stock Option Portfolios and Their Sensitivities to Price and Volatility," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 613-630, 06.
    16. Chen, Shuping & Chen, Xia & Cheng, Qiang & Shevlin, Terry, 2010. "Are family firms more tax aggressive than non-family firms?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 41-61, January.
    17. Armstrong, Christopher S. & Larcker, David F. & Ormazabal, Gaizka & Taylor, Daniel J., 2012. "The Relation between Equity Incentives and Misreporting: The Role of Risk-Taking Incentives," Research Papers 2120, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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