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Why is the Corporation Tax Not Neutral? Anticipated Tax Reform, Investment Spurts and Corporate Borrowing

  • Alvarez JR, Luis

    (Institute of Applied Mathematics)

  • Kanniainen, Vesa

    (University of Helsinki)

  • Södersten, Jan

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

The paper shows that a corporate tax policy which is thought to be neutral may have significant incentive effects. This result is established in a model with tax advantage to debt and expectations about a forthcoming tax reform. Investment spurt effects are established and compared to those of a firm with equity finance. A tax-cut cum base-broadening tax reform which leaves the long-run investment incentives of an all-equity firm unaffected is shown to cause a substantial short run investment hike. The findings are illustrated by numerical simulations indicating the magnitudes of the spurt effects.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2000:4.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 15 Feb 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in FinanzArchiv, 1999, pages 285-309.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2000_004
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. Rainer Niemann, 1999. "Neutral Taxation under Uncertainty - a Real Options Approach," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(1), pages 51-66, March.
  2. Cummins, Jason G. & Hassett, Kevin A. & Hubbard, R. Glenn, 1996. "Tax reforms and investment: A cross-country comparison," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 237-273, October.
  3. Sandmo, Agnar, 1974. "Investment Incentives and the Corporate Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 287-302, Part I, M.
  4. Alvarez, L. & Kanniainen, V. & Sodersten, J., 1995. "Theory of Tax-Induced Investment Spurts," Papers 1995-18, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  5. Kanniainen, Vesa & Sodersten, Jan, 1995. "The importance of reporting conventions for the theory of corporate taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 417-430, July.
  6. Auerbach, Alan J, 1989. "Tax Reform and Adjustment Costs: The Impact on Investment and Market Value," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 939-62, November.
  7. Auerbach, Alan J & Hines, James R, Jr, 1988. "Investment Tax Incentives and Frequent Tax Reforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 211-16, May.
  8. Sandmo, Agnar, 1979. "A note on the neutrality of the cash flow corporation tax," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 173-176.
  9. Jason Cummins & Trevor Harris & Kevin Hassett, 1995. "Accounting Standards, Information Flow, and Firm Investment Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The Effects of Taxation on Multinational Corporations, pages 181-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Paul A. Samuelson, 1964. "Tax Deductibility of Economic Depreciation to Insure Invariant Valuations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 604.
  11. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin Hassett, 1991. "Tax Policy and Business Fixed Investment in the United States," NBER Working Papers 3619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1991. "Taxation and the Cost of Capital: The "Old" View, the "New" View, and Another View," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 25-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Kevin A. Hassett & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1998. "Investment With Uncertain Tax Policy: Does Random Tax Policy Discourage Investment?," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9823, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  14. King, Mervyn A., 1975. "Taxation, corporate financial policy, and the cost of capital : A comment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 271-279, August.
  15. Robert E. Lucas & Jr., 1967. "Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 321.
  16. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1973. "Taxation, corporate financial policy, and the cost of capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-34, February.
  17. Jorgenson, D.W., 1992. "Tax Reform and the Cost of Capital : An International Comparison," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1621, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  18. Boadway, R. W. & Bruce, N., 1979. "Depreciation and interest deductions and the effect of the corporation income tax on investment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 93-105, February.
  19. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1984. "West Germany," NBER Chapters, in: The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany, pages 149-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Hartman, Richard, 1978. "Investment Neutrality of Business Income Taxes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 245-60, May.
  21. Kanniainen, V. & Sodersten, J., 1995. "On Financial Adjustment and Investment Booms: Lessons from Tax Reforms," Papers 1995-19, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  22. Robson, Mark H., 1989. "Measuring the cost of capital when taxes are changing with foresight," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 261-292, December.
  23. Mayer, Colin, 1986. "Corporation Tax, Finance and the Cost of Capital," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 93-112, January.
  24. Alvarez, Luis H. R. & Kanniainen, Vesa & Sodersten, Jan, 1998. "Tax policy uncertainty and corporate investment: A theory of tax-induced investment spurts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 17-48, July.
  25. King, Mervyn A, 1974. "Taxation and the Cost of Capital," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 21-35, January.
  26. Treadway, Arthur B, 1969. "On Rational Entrepreneurial Behaviour and the Demand for Investment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(106), pages 227-39, April.
  27. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Tax Neutrality in the Presence of Adjustment Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 705-12, November.
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