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Cash-Flow Business Taxation Revisited: Bankruptcy, Risk Aversion and Asymmetric Information

Author

Listed:
  • Robin Boadway

    () (Queen's University, ON, Canada)

  • Motohiro Sato

    () (Hitotsubashi University, Japan)

  • Jean-François Tremblay

    () (University of Ottawa, ON, Canada)

Abstract

It is well-known that cash-flow business taxes with full loss-offset, and their present-value equivalents, are neutral with respect to firms’ investment decisions when firms are risk-neutral and there are no distortions. We study the effects of cash-flow business taxation when there is bankruptcy risk, when firms are risk-averse, and when financial intermediaries face asymmetric information problems in financing heterogeneous firms. In these circumstances, investment decisions are distorted, with investment being less than in the full-information case. Cash-flow taxation corrects the distortion by inducing more investment in rent-generating projects and increasing social welfare. An ACE tax is equivalent to a cash-flow tax but is easier to implement under asymmetric information.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Boadway & Motohiro Sato & Jean-François Tremblay, 2017. "Cash-Flow Business Taxation Revisited: Bankruptcy, Risk Aversion and Asymmetric Information," Working Papers 1713E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1713e
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Boadway, Robin & Bruce, Neil, 1984. "A general proposition on the design of a neutral business tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 231-239, July.
    2. Paolo Panteghini & Maria Laura Parisi & Francesca Pighetti, 2012. "Italy's ACE Tax and its Effect on a Firm's Leverage," CESifo Working Paper Series 3869, CESifo.
    3. Jack M. Mintz, 1981. "Some Additional Results on Investment, Risk Taking, and Full Loss Offset Corporate Taxation with Interest Deductibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(4), pages 631-642.
    4. Vesa Kanniainen & Paolo M. Panteghini, 2013. "Tax Neutrality: Illusion or Reality? The Case of Entrepreneurship," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(2), pages 167-193, June.
    5. Wolfgang Buchholz & Kai A. Konrad, 2014. "Taxes on risky returns — an update," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-10, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    6. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
    7. Vesa Kanniainen & Paolo M. Panteghini, 2013. "Tax Neutrality: Illusion or Reality? The Case of Entrepreneurship," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(2), pages 167-193, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robin W. Boadway & Jean-François Tremblay, 2016. "Modernizing Business Taxation," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 452, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cash-flow tax; risk-averse firms; asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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