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Taxation and Capital Structure: evidence from a transition economy

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  • Leora Klapper
  • Konstantinos Tzioumis

Abstract

We examine the effect of taxation on financing policy using the corporate tax reform in 2001 in Croatia as a natural experiment. Since the extant literature on tax effects on capital structure studies listed firms in developed countries, it is worth investigating whether the same results apply to privately-held, small and medium sized firms (SMEs) in transition economies. The findings provide significant evidence that lower taxes affected the capital structure of Croatian firms, which resulted in increased equity levels and decreased long-term debt levels. We also find that smaller and more profitable firms were more likely to reduce their debt levels. These findings are consistent with the trade-off theory of capital structure, which suggests that lower taxes decrease the incentive to hold debt due to decreasing interest tax deductibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Leora Klapper & Konstantinos Tzioumis, 2008. "Taxation and Capital Structure: evidence from a transition economy," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 16, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:hel:greese:16
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    Cited by:

    1. Dimas, Christos, 2010. "Privatization in the name of ‘Europe’: analyzing the telecoms privatization in Greece from a ‘discursive institutionalist’ perspective," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 31089, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Feld, Lars P. & Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2013. "Capital structure choice and company taxation: A meta-study," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2850-2866.
    3. Theodore Pelagidis, 2010. "The Greek Paradox of Falling Competitiveness and Weak Institutions in a High GDP Growth Rate Context (1995-2008)," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 38, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    4. Pagoulatos, George & Zahariadis, Nikolaos, 2011. "Politics, labor, regulation, and performance: lessons from the privatization of OTE," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33827, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Christos Lyrintzis, 2011. "Greek Politics in the Era of Economic Crisis: Reassessing Causes and Effects," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 45, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    6. Spyros Kosmidis, 2013. "Government Constraints and Economic Voting in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 70, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    7. Alberternst, Stephan & Sureth-Sloane, Caren, 2016. "Interest barrier and capital structure response," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 206, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    8. Nicholas Apergis, 2011. "Characteristics of inflation in Greece: Mean Spillover Effects among CPI Components," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 43, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    9. Vassilis Monastiriotis & Jacob A. Jordaan, 2011. "Regional Distribution and Spatial Impact of FDI in Greece: evidence from firm-level data," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 44, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    10. George Pagoulatos & Nikolaos Zahariadis, 2011. "Politics, Labor, Regulation, and Performance: lessons from the privatization of OTE," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 46, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    11. Voskeritsian, Horen & Kornelakis, Andreas, 2011. "Institutional change in Greek industrial relations in an era of fiscal crisis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 41758, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Stöckl Matthias & Winner Hannes, 2013. "Körperschaftsbesteuerung und Unternehmensverschuldung: Evidenz aus einem Europäischen Firmenpanel / Capital Structure and Corporate Taxation: Empirical Evidence from European Panel Data," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 233(2), pages 188-205, April.
    13. Lyrintzis, Christos, 2011. "Greek politics in the era of economic crisis: reassessing causes and effects," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33826, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Matthias Stöckl & Hannes Winner, "undated". "Capital Structure and Corporate Taxation. Empirical Evidence from European Panel Data," WIFO Working Papers 422, WIFO.
    15. Dejan Malinić & Ksenija Denčić-Mihajlov & Ema Ljubenović, 2013. "The Determinants of Capital Structure in Emerging Capital Markets: Evidence from Serbia," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 98-119.
    16. Alberternst, Stephan & Sureth, Caren, 2015. "The effect of taxes on corporate financing decisions: Evidence from the German interest barrier," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 182, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    17. Kosmidis, Spyros, 2013. "Government constraints and economic voting in Greece," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 50259, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Christos Dimas, 2010. "Privatization in the Name of ‘Europe’: analyzing the telecoms privatization in Greece from a ‘discursive institutionalist’ perspective," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 41, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    19. Owen Nyang'oro, 2016. "Determinants of Capital Structure of Listed Firms in Kenya and the Impact of Corporate Tax," Research Papers RP_329, African Economic Research Consortium.
    20. Stelios Karagiannis & Yannis Panagopoulos & Prodromos Vlamis, 2010. "Symmetric or Asymmetric Interest Rate Adjustments? Evidence from Greece, Bulgaria and Slovenia," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 39, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    21. Erick Lusekelo Mwambuli, 2016. "Does Corporate Capital Structure influence Corporate Financial Performance in Developing Economies? Evidence from East African Stock Markets," International Finance and Banking, Macrothink Institute, vol. 3(1), pages 97-123, June.
    22. Dinkel, Andreas, 2015. "Tax attractiveness and the allocation of risk within multinationals," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 189, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    23. George Kazamias, 2010. "From Pragmatism to Idealism to Failure: Britain in the Cyprus crisis of 1974," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 42, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Capital structure; Taxation; Transition Economies.;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law

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