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Taxation and Corporation Finance

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  • Roger H. Gordon
  • Burton G. Malkiel

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of the federal tax structure on corporate financial and investment behavior. We first develop a model of corporate behavior given taxes, taking into account both uncertainty and costs of bankruptcy. Simpler models abstracting from bankruptcy costs had clear counterfactual implications. The forecasts from our model proved to be consistent with both the observed cross-sectional variation in debt-equity ratios and the time series pattern of debt-equity ratios (data that were constructed in the paper). We then attempted to measure the efficiency costs created by corporate tax distortions as implied by the model. The forecasted efficiency cost of the distortion favoring debt finance seemed to be quite large, while the tax distortion affecting investment seemed to be less important than others have claimed. The paper concludes with a study of the efficiency implications of various proposed corporate tax changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger H. Gordon & Burton G. Malkiel, 1980. "Taxation and Corporation Finance," NBER Working Papers 0576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0576
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    2. Martin Feldstein, 1978. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation," NBER Chapters,in: Research in Taxation, pages 29-51 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Shoven, John B, 1976. "The Incidence and Efficiency Effects of Taxes on Income from Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1261-1283, December.
    4. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A Re-Examination of the Modigliani-Miller Theorem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(5), pages 784-793, December.
    5. Martin Feldstein & Lawrence Summers, 1983. "Inflation and the Taxation of Capital Income in the Corporate Sector," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 116-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1972. "Some Aspects of the Pure Theory of Corporate Finance: Bankruptcies and Take-Overs," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 3(2), pages 458-482, Autumn.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Don Fullerton & Roger H. Gordon, 1983. "A Reexamination of Tax Distortions in General Equilibrium Models," NBER Chapters,in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 369-426 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert A. Taggart, Jr., 1982. "Effects of Regulation on Utility Financing: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 0866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sean Holly & Emiliano Santoro, 2007. "Financial Fragility, Heterogeneous Firms and the Cross Section of the Business Cycle," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 96, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    4. Daniel Frisch, 1983. "Issues in the Taxation of Foreign Source Income," NBER Chapters,in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 289-332 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David F. Bradford, 1981. "Issues in the Design of Saving and Investment Incentives," NBER Working Papers 0637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Agliari, Anna & Gatti, Domenico Delli & Gallegati, Mauro & Lenci, Stefano, 2006. "The complex dynamics of financially constrained heterogeneous firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 784-803, December.

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