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Effects of the 2003 dividend tax cut: evidence from real estate investment trusts
Recent literature has estimated that the 2003 dividend tax cut caused a large increase in aggregate dividend payouts, which would imply that dividend taxation creates large efficiency costs relative to the amount of revenue raised. I document that dividend payouts by real estate investment trusts also rose sharply following the tax cut, even though REIT dividends did not qualify for the cut. Using REITs as a control group in a simple difference-in-differences framework produces small and statistically insignificant estimates of the effect of the tax cut on aggregate dividend payouts. I ...
The Long and Short of It : Do Public and Private Firms Invest Differently?
Using data from U.S. corporate tax returns, which provide a sample representative of the universe of U.S. corporations, we investigate the differential investment propensities of public and private firms. Re-weighting the data to generate observationally comparable sets of public and private firms, we find robust evidence that public firms invest more overall, particularly in R&D. Exploiting within-firm variation in public status, we find that firms dedicate more of their investment to R&D following IPO, and reduce these investments upon going private. Our findings suggest that public stock ...
Investment, accounting, and the salience of the corporate income tax
This paper develops and tests the hypothesis that accounting rules mitigate the impact of tax policy on investment decisions by obscuring the timing of tax payments. I model a firm that maximizes a discounted weighted average of after-tax cash flows and accounting profits. The cost of capital and the impact of tax incentives for investment both depend on the weight placed on accounting profits. I estimate this weight by comparing the effectiveness of tax incentives that do and do not affect accounting profits. Investment tax credits, which do affect accounting profits, have more impact on ...
Agency problems in public firms: evidence from corporate jets in leveraged buyouts
This paper uses rich, new data to examine the fleets of corporate jets operated by both publicly traded and privately held firms. In the cross-section, firms owned by private equity funds average jet fleets at least 40 percent smaller than observably similar publicly-traded firms. Similar fleet reductions are observed within firms that go private in leveraged buyouts. I discuss assumptions under which comparisons across and within firms provide estimates of lower and upper bounds on the average treatment effect of taking a firm from public to private in a leveraged buyout. Both censored and ...
Estimating machinery supply elasticities using output price booms
Recent years have seen large increases in the prices of houses, farm products, and oil, often with little clear connection to economic fundamentals. These price increases created plausibly exogenous shifts in demand for construction, farm, and mining machinery. This paper uses these demand shifts to estimate the elasticity of machinery supply. Graphical evidence, OLS, and IV estimates all indicate that the quantity of machinery supplied increased rapidly during the booms, with only modest increases in prices. Pooled sample estimates of the supply elasticity are around 5, much larger than the ...
Neighborhood revitalization in New York City in the 1990s
Revenue implications of New York City's tax system
A study of New York City's tax system finds that over the past three decades, the system has become less reliant on property and general sales taxes and more dependent on corporate and personal income taxes. This shift has made the city's tax revenues less stable than the revenues of the 1970s and more sensitive to cyclical swings.