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Dividend taxation, share repurchases and the equity trap

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  • Södersten, Jan

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Lindhe, Tobias

    () (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

This paper reconsiders the effects of dividend taxation. Particular attention is paid to the form of the “equity trap”, that is, the extent to which cash paid to the shareholders must be taxed as dividends. Our analysis shows that Sinn’s (1991) criticism of the well-known King and Fullerton (1984) methodology for underestimating the cost of new share issues amounts to a misleading comparison across two different regimes for the equity trap. Contrary to Sinn, we find that when dividends are paid following a new issue, as assumed by King-Fullerton, the cost of capital is higher than is the case when no dividends are paid.

Suggested Citation

  • Södersten, Jan & Lindhe, Tobias, 2009. "Dividend taxation, share repurchases and the equity trap," Working Paper Series 2009:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2009_007
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Auerbach, Alan J, 1983. "Taxation, Corporate Financial Policy and the Cost of Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 905-940, September.
    3. Tobias Lindhe & Jan Södersten, 2006. "The Equity Trap, the Cost of Capital and the Firm’s Growth Path," CESifo Working Paper Series 1801, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1991. "The vanishing harberger triangle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 271-300, August.
    5. Auerbach, Alan J., 2002. "Taxation and corporate financial policy," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 19, pages 1251-1292 Elsevier.
    6. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2005. "The 2003 Dividend Tax Cuts and the Value of the Firm: An Event Study," NBER Working Papers 11449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Bradford, David F., 1981. "The incidence and allocation effects of a tax on corporate distributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-22, February.
    8. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1991. "Share repurchases, the 'new' view, and the cost of capital," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 187-190, June.
    9. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hassett, Kevin A., 2003. "On the marginal source of investment funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 205-232, January.
    10. Kevin A. Hassett & Alan J. Auerbach, 2005. "The 2003 Dividend Tax Cuts and the Value of the Firm," AEI Economics Working Papers 49878, American Enterprise Institute.
    11. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
    12. Alan J. Auerbach, 1979. "Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(3), pages 433-446.
    13. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1984. "The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number king84-1, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20906, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
    2. Tobias Lindhe & Jan Södersten, 2014. "Dividend Taxation and the Cost of New Share Issues," CESifo Working Paper Series 5001, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Lindhe, Tobias & Södersten, Jan, 2014. "Dividend Taxation and the Cost of New Share Issues," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2014:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    dividend taxation; share repurchases; equity trap; cost of capital; nucleus theory; growth path;

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

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