IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/3222.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Corporate Financial Policy and Organizational Form

Author

Listed:
  • Roger H. Gordon
  • Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason

Abstract

We examine the effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on the financial decisions made by firms. We review the theory and empirical predictions of prior literature for corporate debt policy, for dividend and equity repurchase payouts to shareholders, and for the choice of organizational form. We then compare the predictions to post-1986 experience. The change in debt/value ratios has been substantially smaller than expected. Dividend payouts increased as predicted, but stock repurchases increased even more rapidly which was unexpected and is difficult to understand. Based on very scant data, it appears that some activities have shuffled among organizational forms; in particular, loss activities may have been moved into corporate form where they are deducted at a higher tax rate, while gain activities may have shifted towards noncorporate form, to be taxed at the lower personal rates. In addition, several interesting new issues are raised. One concerns previously neglected implications for the effective tax on retained earnings that follow from optimal trading strategies when long- and short-term capital gains are taxed at different rates. Also, new interest allocation rules for multinational corporations provide a substantial incentive for many firms to shift their borrowing abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger H. Gordon & Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1990. "Effects of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 on Corporate Financial Policy and Organizational Form," NBER Working Papers 3222, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3222
    Note: PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3222.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Feldstein, Martin & Dicks-Mireaux, Louis & Poterba, James, 1983. "The effective tax rate and the pretax rate of return," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 129-158, July.
    2. Bradley, Michael & Jarrell, Gregg A & Kim, E Han, 1984. "On the Existence of an Optimal Capital Structure: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 857-878, July.
    3. Michael S. Long & Ileen B. Malitz, 1985. "Investment Patterns and Financial Leverage," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Capital Structures in the United States, pages 325-352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Arnold C. Harberger, 1962. "The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 215-215.
    5. Bradford, David F., 1981. "The incidence and allocation effects of a tax on corporate distributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-22, February.
    6. Feldstein, Martin S & Slemrod, Joel, 1980. "Personal Taxation, Portfolio Choice, and the Effect of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 854-866, October.
    7. Scholes, Myron S & Wolfson, Mark A, 1990. "The Effects of Changes in Tax Laws on Corporate Reorganization Activity," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(1), pages 141-164, January.
    8. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    9. Constantinides, George M., 1984. "Optimal stock trading with personal taxes : Implications for prices and the abnormal January returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 65-89, March.
    10. Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1990. "Do Firms Care Who Provides Their Financing?," NBER Chapters, in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 63-104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Rosanne Altshuler & Alan J. Auerbach, 1990. "The Significance of Tax Law Asymmetries: An Empirical Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 61-86.
    12. Manchester, Joyce M. & Poterba, James M., 1989. "Second mortgages and household saving," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 325-346, May.
    13. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "The Economic Effects of Dividend Taxation," NBER Working Papers 1353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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.
    15. Sudipto Bhattacharya, 1979. "Imperfect Information, Dividend Policy, and "The Bird in the Hand" Fallacy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 259-270, Spring.
    16. MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K, 1990. "Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1471-1493, December.
    17. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Alan J. Auerbach, 1985. "Real Determinants of Corporate Leverage," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Capital Structures in the United States, pages 301-324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Alan J. Auerbach & David Reishus, 1988. "The Effects of Taxation on the Merger Decision," NBER Chapters, in: Corporate Takeovers: Causes and Consequences, pages 157-190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Roger H. Gordon, 1982. "Interest Rates, Inflation, and Corporate Financial Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(2), pages 461-491.
    21. Roger H. Gordon & David F. Bradford, 1980. "Taxation and the Stock Market Valuation of Capital Gains and Dividends: Theory and Empirical Results," NBER Chapters, in: Econometric Studies in Public Finance, pages 109-136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. 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.
    23. Poterba, James M., 1989. "Tax reform and the market for tax-exempt debt," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 537-562, August.
    24. Gordon Roger H., 2003. "Do Publicly Traded Corporations Act in the Public Interest?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, June.
    25. Jane G. Gravelle & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1988. "Does the Harberger Model Greatly Understate the Excess Burden of the Corporate Tax? - Another Model Says Yes," NBER Working Papers 2742, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Merton H. Miller & Franco Modigliani, 1961. "Dividend Policy, Growth, and the Valuation of Shares," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34, pages 411-411.
    27. Gravelle, Jane G & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1989. "The Incidence and Efficiency Costs of Corporate Taxation When Corporate and Noncorporate Firms Produce the Same Good," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 749-780, August.
    28. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    29. Miller, Merton H & Rock, Kevin, 1985. "Dividend Policy under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1031-1051, September.
    30. DeAngelo, Harry & Masulis, Ronald W., 1980. "Optimal capital structure under corporate and personal taxation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 3-29, March.
    31. Warner, Jerold B, 1977. "Bankruptcy Costs: Some Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 337-347, May.
    32. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    33. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-275, May.
    34. White, Michelle J, 1989. "The Corporate Bankruptcy Decision," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 129-151, Spring.
    35. Michelle J. White, 1980. "Public Policy Toward Bankruptcy: Me-First and Other Priority Rules," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 550-564, Autumn.
    36. Mervyn A. King & Jonathan I. Leape, 1984. "Wealth and Portfolio Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 1468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Auerbach, Alan J., 2002. "Taxation and corporate financial policy," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 19, pages 1251-1292, Elsevier.
    2. William M. Gentry & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1998. "Fundamental Tax Reform and Corporate Financial Policy," NBER Working Papers 6433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason, 1990. "Do Firms Care Who Provides Their Financing?," NBER Chapters, in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 63-104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hanlon, Michelle & Heitzman, Shane, 2010. "A review of tax research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 127-178, December.
    5. Szilagyi, P.G., 2007. "Corporate governance and the agency costs of debt and outside equity," Other publications TiSEM 9520d40a-224f-43a8-9bf9-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Luc Renneboog & Peter G. Szilagyi, 2008. "Corporate Restructuring and Bondholder Wealth," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 14(4), pages 792-819, September.
    7. Sanjiva Prasad & Christopher J. Green & Victor Murinde, 2005. "Company Financial Structure: A Survey and Implications for Developing Economies," Chapters, in: Christopher J. Green & Colin Kirkpatrick & Victor Murinde (ed.), Finance and Development, chapter 12, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    9. Chen, Linda H. & Jiang, George J., 2001. "The financing behavior of Dutch firms," Research Report 01E54, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    10. Barakat, Mounther-Hussein & Rao, Ramesh-P, 2003. "The role of taxes in capital structure: evidence from taxed and non-taxed Arab economies," MPRA Paper 25472, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2006.
    11. MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K, 1990. "Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1471-1493, December.
    12. Michele Bernasconi & Anna Marenzi & Laura Pagani, 2005. "Corporate Financing Decisions and Non-Debt Tax Shields: Evidence from Italian Experiences in the 1990s," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(6), pages 741-773, November.
    13. Monda, Barbara & Giorgino, Marco & Modolin, Ileana, 2013. "Rationales for Corporate Risk Management - A Critical Literature Review," MPRA Paper 45420, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Glenn Boyle & Kelly Eckhold, 1997. "Capital structure choice and financial market liberalization: evidence from New Zealand," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 427-437.
    15. repec:dgr:rugsom:01e54 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Graham, John R., 1999. "Do personal taxes affect corporate financing decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 147-185, August.
    17. Sanjiva Prasad & Christopher J. Green & Victor Murinde, 2001. "Company Financing, Captial Structure, and Ownership: A Survey, and Implications for Developing Economies," SUERF Studies, SUERF - The European Money and Finance Forum, number 12 edited by Morten Balling, May.
    18. ElBannan, Mona A., 2017. "Stock market liquidity, family ownership, and capital structure choices in an emerging country," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 201-231.
    19. Wald, John, 1999. "Capital structure with dividend restrictions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 193-208, June.
    20. Michael Pfaffermayr & Matthias Stöckl & Hannes Winner, 2013. "Capital Structure, Corporate Taxation and Firm Age," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 34(1), pages 109-135, March.
    21. Carl Chiarella & Toan Pham & Ah Boon Sim & Madeleine Tan, 1991. "Determinants of Corporate Capital Structure: Australian Evidence," Working Paper Series 3, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3222. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.