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Tax Policy and Business Fixed Investment in the United States

  • Alan J. Auerbach
  • Kevin Hassett

This paper derives and estimates models of nonresidential investment behavior in which current and future tax conditions directly affect the incentive to invest. The estimates suggest that taxes have played an independent role in affecting postwar U.S. investment behavior, particularly for investment in machinery and equipment. In addition, the paper develops a method for assessing the impact of tax policy on the volatility of investment when such policy is endogenous. Illustrative calculations using this technique, based on the paper's empirical estimates, suggest that tax policy has not served to stabilize investment in equipment or nonresidential structures during the sample period.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3619.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3619.

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Date of creation: Feb 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Public Economics, Vol.44, pp. 141-170, (1992).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3619
Note: PE
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  1. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Henning Bohn & Peter C. Reiss, 1985. "Alternative Nonnested Specification Tests of Time Series Investment Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrew B. Abel & Olivier J. Blanchard, 1983. "The Present Value of Profits and Cyclical Movements in Investment," NBER Working Papers 1122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  5. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1982. "Generalized Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Rational Expectations Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1269-86, September.
  6. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  7. Stephen M. Goldfeld & Alan S. Blinder, 1972. "Some Implications of Endogenous Stabilization Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(3), pages 585-644.
  8. Alan J. Auerbach, 1982. "Taxation, Corporate Financial Policy and the Cost of Capital," NBER Working Papers 1026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Takeo Hoshi & Anil Kashyap & David Scharfstein, 1989. "Corporate structure, liquidity, and investment: evidence from Japanese industrial groups," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 82, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Martin Feldstein, 1983. "Inflation, Tax Rules, and Investment: Some Econometric Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Inflation, Tax Rules, and Capital Formation, pages 243-286 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," NBER Working Papers 1899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines, Jr., 1987. "Anticipated Tax Changes and the Timing of Investment," NBER Chapters, in: Taxes and Capital Formation, pages 85-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alan J. Auerbach, 1983. "Real Determinants of Corporate Leverage," NBER Working Papers 1151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Garber, Steven & Klepper, Steven, 1980. "Extending the Classical Normal Errors-in-Variables Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(6), pages 1541-46, September.
  15. Steven Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1987. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 2387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
  17. Lawrence H. Summers, 1981. "Taxation and Corporate Investment: A q-Theory Approach," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 67-140.
  18. Auerbach, Alan J, 1989. "Tax Reform and Adjustment Costs: The Impact on Investment and Market Value," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(4), pages 939-62, November.
  19. Auerbach, Alan J & Hines, James R, Jr, 1988. "Investment Tax Incentives and Frequent Tax Reforms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 211-16, May.
  20. Pindyck, Robert S & Rotemberg, Julio J, 1983. "Dynamic Factor Demands and the Effects of Energy Price Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1066-79, December.
  21. Robert E. Hall, 1989. "Invariance Properties of Solow's Productivity Residual," NBER Working Papers 3034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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