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Taxation and Corporate Risk-Taking

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  • Langenmayr, Dominika
  • Lester, Rebecca

Abstract

We study whether the corporate tax system provides incentives for risky firm investment. We first model the effects of corporate tax rates and tax loss offset rules on firm risk-taking. Testing the theoretical predictions, we find that firm risk-taking is positively related to the length of tax loss periods. This result occurs because the loss rules shift a portion of investment risk to the government, inducing firms to increase their overall level of risk-taking. Moreover, the corporate tax rate has a positive effect on risk-taking for firms that can expect to use their tax losses, and a negative effect for those that cannot. Thus, the effect of taxes on risky investment decisions varies among firms, and its sign hinges on firm-specific expectations of future tax loss recovery.

Suggested Citation

  • Langenmayr, Dominika & Lester, Rebecca, 2014. "Taxation and Corporate Risk-Taking," Discussion Papers in Economics 20977, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:20977
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    8. Alexander Ljungqvist & Liandong Zhang & Luo Zuo, 2017. "Sharing Risk with the Government: How Taxes Affect Corporate Risk Taking," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 669-707, June.
    9. Becker, Johannes & Johannesen, Niels & Riedel, Nadine, 2020. "Taxation and the allocation of risk inside the multinational firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 183(C).
    10. Osswald, Benjamin & Sureth, Caren, 2018. "Do country risk factors attenuate the effect of taxes on corporate risk-taking?," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 235, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate taxation; firm risk-taking; net operating losses;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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