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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. 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).
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  4. Mintz, Jack & Smart, Michael, 2004. "Income shifting, investment, and tax competition: theory and evidence from provincial taxation in Canada," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1149-1168, June.
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  8. Luc Laeven & Harry Huizinga & Gaetan Nicodeme, 2007. "Capital Structure and International Debt Shifting," IMF Working Papers 07/39, International Monetary Fund.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K, 1990. " Do Taxes Affect Corporate Financing Decisions?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(5), pages 1471-93, December.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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. Jack Mintz & Alfons Weichenrieder, 2005. "Taxation and the Financial Structure of German Outbound FDI," CESifo Working Paper Series 1612, CESifo Group Munich.
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