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Taxes and Corporate Capital Structure in an Incomplete Market

  • Robert A. Taggart, Jr.
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    This paper extends Merton Miller's 1977 analysis of corporate capital structure decisions to the incomplete capital markets case. As in Miller's model, aggregate demand for corporate leverage is curtailed as interest rates on taxable bonds rise. Unlike Miller's model, however, capital structure is not a matter of indifference to all equilibrium shareholders. Market incompleteness and tax arbitrage restrictions combine to prevent marginal rates of substitution from being equalized for all investors and hence their preferences are not unanimous. In addition, costs associated with debt induce a tendency for lower cost firms to issue a larger proportion of total corporate debt.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0594.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0594.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1980
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    Publication status: published as Taggart, Robert A. "Taxes and Corporate Capital Structure in an Incomplete Market." Journal of Finance, Vol. 35, No. 3, (June 1980), pp. 645-659.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0594
    Note: ME
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


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    1. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    2. 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.
    3. Robichek, Alexander A. & Myers, Stewart C., 1966. "Problems in the Theory of Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 1-35, June.
    4. Brenner, Menachem & Subrahmanyam, Marti G, 1977. "Intra-Equilibrium and Inter-Equilibrium Analysis in Capital Market Theory: A Clarification," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1313-19, September.
    5. Ferri, Michael G & Jones, Wesley H, 1979. "Determinants of Financial Structure: A New Methodological Approach," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 34(3), pages 631-44, June.
    6. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
    7. Baron, David P, 1979. "Investment Policy, Optimality, and the Mean-Variance Model: Review Article," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 34(1), pages 207-32, March.
    8. Haugen, Robert A & Senbet, Lemma W, 1978. "The Insignificance of Bankruptcy Costs to the Theory of Optimal Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 33(2), pages 383-93, May.
    9. 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.
    10. Han Kim, E. & Lewellen, Wilbur G. & McConnell, John J., 1979. "Financial leverage clienteles : Theory and evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 83-109, March.
    11. Litzenberger, Robert H & Sosin, Howard B, 1977. "The Theory of Recapitalizations and the Evidence of Dual Purpose Funds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(5), pages 1433-55, December.
    12. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "On Value Maximization and Alternative Objectives of the Firm," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 389-402, May.
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