IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Financial leverage and corporate taxation: Evidence from German corporate tax return data

  • Dwenger, Nadja
  • Steiner, Viktor

We estimate the impact of effective profit taxation on the financial leverage of corporations on the basis of a pseudo-panel constructed from corporate tax return micro data for the period 1998-2001, a period which saw the introduction of a major corporate tax reform in Germany. The financial leverage is measured by the ratio of long-term debt to total capital. Endogeneity of the effective corporate tax rate is controlled for by an instrumental variable approach. Our instrument for the observed effective tax rate is the counterfactual tax rate a corporation would face in a particular period had there been no endogenous change of its financial structure. This counterfactual is obtained from a detailed microsimulation model of the corporate sector based on tax return micro data. We find a statistically significant and relatively large positive effect of the tax rate on corporate leverage: on average, an increase of the tax rate by 10 percent would increase the financial leverage by about 5 percent. We also find that the debt ratio is less responsive for small corporations and for corporations that benefit from various other forms of tax shields, in particular depreciation allowances and tax loss carry-forward. However, tax effects do not seem to depend on risk, although the level of economic risk does affect corporate leverage.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/30840/1/608204382.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre in its series arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research with number 61.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:arqudp:61
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.arqus.info/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nadja Dwenger & Viktor Steiner, 2008. "Effective Profit Taxation and the Elasticity of the Corporate Income Tax Base: Evidence from German Corporate Tax Return Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 829, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1993. "Minimum MSE estimation of a regression model with fixed effects from a series of cross sections," Other publications TiSEM 34c1104a-a64b-4030-be99-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  4. Thiess Büttner & Michael Overesch & Ulrich Schreiber & Georg Wamser, 2006. "The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals’ Financing and Investment Decisions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1817, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Stefan Bach & Giacomo Corneo & Viktor Steiner, 2008. "Effective Taxation of Top Incomes in Germany, 1992 - 2002," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 767, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
  7. Verbeek, M. & Nijman, T., 1992. "Minimum MSE Estimatin of a Regression Model with Fixed Effects from a Series of Cross Sections," Papers 9201, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  8. Frank Fossen & Stefan Bach, 2008. "Reforming the German Local Business Tax - Lessons from an International Comparison and a Microsimulation Analysis," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(2), pages 245-272, June.
  9. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2011. "When credit bites back: leverage, business cycles, and crises," Working Paper Series 2011-27, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Luc Laeven & Harry Huizinga & Gaetan Nicodeme, 2007. "Capital Structure and International Debt Shifting," IMF Working Papers 07/39, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
  12. McDonald, Robert L, 2001. "Cross-Border Investing with Tax Arbitrage: The Case of German Dividend Tax Credits," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 617-57.
  13. Dwenger, Nadja & Steiner, Viktor, 2012. "Profit Taxation And The Elasticity Of The Corporate Income Tax Base: Evidence From German Corporate Tax Return Data," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(1), pages 118-50, March.
  14. Frank Blasch & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2006. "When Taxation Changes the Course of the Year – Fiscal Year Adjustments and the German Tax Reform 2000/2001," CESifo Working Paper Series 1861, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Trezevant, Robert, 1992. " Debt Financing and Tax Status: Tests of the Substitution Effect and the Tax Exhaustion Hypothesis Using Firms' Responses to the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1557-68, September.
  16. Dhammika Dharmapala & C. Fritz Foley & Kristin J. Forbes, 2011. "Watch What I Do, Not What I Say: The Unintended Consequences of the Homeland Investment Act," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(3), pages 753-787, 06.
  17. Roger H. Gordon & Young Lee, 1999. "Do Taxes Affect Corporate Debt Policy? Evidence from US Corporate Tax Return Data," NBER Working Papers 7433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Rosanne Altshuler & Alan Auerbach & Michael Cooper & Matthew Knittel, 2011. "Understanding U.S. Corporate Tax Losses," Departmental Working Papers 201124, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  19. Altshuler, Rosanne & Grubert, Harry, 2003. "Repatriation taxes, repatriation strategies and multinational financial policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 73-107, January.
  20. 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 857-78, July.
  21. Alfons Weichenrieder & Tina Klautke, 2008. "Taxes and the Efficiency Costs of Capital Distortions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2431, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Marsh, Paul, 1982. " The Choice between Equity and Debt: An Empirical Study," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 37(1), pages 121-44, March.
  23. Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2007. "Do Tests of Capital Structure Theory Mean What They Say?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1747-1787, 08.
  24. Feld, Lars P. & Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2011. "Capital structure choice and company taxation: A meta-study," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-075, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  25. Heitor Almeida & Murillo Campello, 2007. "Financial Constraints, Asset Tangibility, and Corporate Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(5), pages 1429-1460, 2007 12.
  26. Inoue, Atsushi, 2008. "Efficient estimation and inference in linear pseudo-panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 449-466, January.
  27. Christian Keuschnigg & Peter Egger & Wolfgang Eggert & Hannes Winner, 2009. "Corporate Taxation, Debt Financing and Foreign Plant Ownership," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 2009-01, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  28. 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.
  29. Cloyd, C. Bryan & Limberg, Stephen T. & Robinson, John R., 1997. "The Impact of Federal Taxes on the Use of Debt by Closely Held Corporations," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(2), pages 261-77, June.
  30. John Shea, 1996. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," NBER Technical Working Papers 0193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Julian Alworth & Giampaolo Arachi, 2001. "The Effect of Taxes on Corporate Financing Decisions: Evidence from a Panel of Italian Firms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 353-376, August.
  32. Fischer, Edwin O & Heinkel, Robert & Zechner, Josef, 1989. " Dynamic Capital Structure Choice: Theory and Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 19-40, March.
  33. Leslie G. Godfrey, 1999. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 550-552, August.
  34. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-60, December.
  35. John R. Graham & Michael L. Lemmon & James S. Schallheim, 1998. "Debt, Leases, Taxes, and the Endogeneity of Corporate Tax Status," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 131-162, 02.
  36. Graham, John R. & Tucker, Alan L., 2006. "Tax shelters and corporate debt policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 563-594, September.
  37. Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, 1988. "Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," NBER Working Papers 2632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. 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, vol. 12(6), pages 741-773, November.
  39. Givoly, Dan, et al, 1992. "Taxes and Capital Structure: Evidence from Firms' Response to the Tax Reform Act of 1986," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 331-55.
  40. Buettner, Thiess & Overesch, Michael & Schreiber, Ulrich & Wamser, Georg, 2012. "The impact of thin-capitalization rules on the capital structure of multinational firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 930-938.
  41. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  42. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  43. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-153277 is not listed on IDEAS
  44. Jack Mintz & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
  45. Stefan Bach & Hermann Buslei & Nadja Dwenger & Frank Fossen, 2008. "Dokumentation des Mikrosimulationsmodells BizTax zur Unternehmensbesteuerung in Deutschland," Data Documentation 29, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  46. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, Jr., 2003. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 9715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  47. Michael L. Lemmon & Michael R. Roberts & Jaime F. Zender, 2008. "Back to the Beginning: Persistence and the Cross-Section of Corporate Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(4), pages 1575-1608, 08.
  48. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  49. John R. Graham, 2000. "How Big Are the Tax Benefits of Debt?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 1901-1941, October.
  50. Reint Gropp, 2002. "Local Taxes and Capital Structure Choice," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 51-71, January.
  51. John R. Graham, 2003. "Taxes and Corporate Finance: A Review," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1075-1129.
  52. Cooper, Michael & Knittel, Matthew, 2006. "Partial Loss Refundability: How Are Corporate Tax Losses Used?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(3), pages 651-63, September.
  53. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:arqudp:61. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.