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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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    1. repec:bla:joares:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:669-707 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mehrmann, Annika & Sureth-Sloane, Caren, 2017. "Tax loss offset restrictions and biased perception of risky investments," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 222, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    3. Haufler, Andreas & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Persson, Lars, 2014. "Entrepreneurial innovations and taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 13-31.
    4. 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.
    5. Dinkel, Andreas, 2015. "Tax attractiveness and the allocation of risk within multinationals," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 189, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate taxation; firm risk-taking; net operating losses;

    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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