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The Impact of Thin-Capitalization Rules on Multinationals? Financing and Investment Decisions

  • Schreiber, Ulrich
  • Overesch, Michael
  • Büttner, Thiess
  • Wamser, Georg

This paper analyzes the role of Thin-Capitalization rules for capital structure choice and investment decisions of multinationals. A theoretical analysis shows that the imposition of such rules tends to affect not only the leverage and the level of investment but also their tax-sensitivity. An empirical investigation of leverage and investment reported for affiliates of German multinationals in 24 countries in the period between 1996 and 2004 offers some support for the theoretical predictions. While Thin-Capitalization rules are found to be effective in restricting debt finance, investment is found to be more sensitive to taxes if debt finance is restricted.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 06-68.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5462
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  1. Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, 1988. "Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," NBER Working Papers 2632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach, 2001. "Taxation and Corporate Financial Policy," NBER Working Papers 8203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Thiess Buettner & Michael Overesch & Ulrich Schreiber & Georg Wamser, 2006. "Taxation and Capital Structure Choice – Evidence from a Panel of German Multinationals," CESifo Working Paper Series 1841, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Gravelle, Jane G., 2004. "The Corporate Tax: Where Has It Been and Where Is It Going?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(4), pages 903-23, December.
  5. Bucovetsky, Sam & Haufler, Andreas, 2008. "Tax competition when firms choose their organizational form: Should tax loopholes for multinationals be closed," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 188-201, January.
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  7. Huizinga, Harry & Laeven, Luc & Nicodème, Gaëtan, 2006. "Capital Structure and International Debt Shifting," CEPR Discussion Papers 5882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. PERALTA, Susana & WAUTHY, Xavier & VAN YPERSELE, Tanguy, . "Should countries control international profit shifting?," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1795, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Jack Mintz & Michael Smart, 2001. "Income Shifting, Investment, and Tax Competition: Theory and Evidence from Provincial Taxation in Canada," CESifo Working Paper Series 554, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Paolo Panteghini, 2009. "The capital structure of multinational companies under tax competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 59-81, February.
  11. Jack Mintz & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2004. "A Multinational Perspective on Capital Structure Choice and Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2451-2487, December.
  13. Janeba, Eckhard & Smart, Michael, 2003. "Is Targeted Tax Competition Less Harmful Than Its Remedies?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 259-80, May.
  14. 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.
  15. Mihir A. Desai, 2005. "The Degradation of Reported Corporate Profits," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 171-192, Fall.
  16. Keen, Michael, 2001. "Preferential Regimes Can Make Tax Competition Less Harmful," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 4), pages 757-62, December.
  17. Thomas A. Gresik, 2001. "The Taxing Task of Taxing Transnationals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 800-838, September.
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