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The vanishing harberger triangle

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  • Sinn, Hans-Werner

Abstract

This paper shows that the double taxation of corporate dividends (or profit repatriations) implies a nucleus theory of the corporation. After the firm is set up with a small stock of original capital, it enters a phase of purely internal growth during which no dividends are paid and no shares are issued. The phase terminates when an efficient stock of capital has been accumulated and dividends are paid. During the growth phases, the tax distortion is inversely related to the tax burden and it is larger than conventional formulae for the cost of internal and external equity finance suggest.

Suggested Citation

  • Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1991. "The vanishing harberger triangle," Munich Reprints in Economics 19842, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19842
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arnold C. Harberger, 1962. "The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 215-215.
    2. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Shoven, John B, 1989. "Cash Distributions to Shareholders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 129-140, Summer.
    3. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1984. "Introduction to "The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany"," NBER Chapters,in: The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mervyn A. King, 1974. "Taxation and the Cost of Capital," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 21-35.
    5. James M. Poterba, 1987. "Tax Policy and Corporate Saving," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(2), pages 455-516.
    6. J. S. S. Edwards & M. J. Keen, 1984. "Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital: A Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(1), pages 211-214.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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