Capital Structure and International Debt Shifting: A Comment
In a recent article, Huizinga, Laeven and Nicodème (2008) present a novel model that motivates an extensive empirical analysis of international debt shifting. We point out that the model fails to account for internal debt, and that once internal debt is properly accounted for, the external debt mechanism they propose is not identified in the empirical analysis. We also point out that affiliate specific debt costs reduce affiliate dividends. When this is implemented in the model, their regression equation can only be derived under the very restrictive assumption that effective tax rates on dividends are the same in all countries.
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