DP13341 | Heterogeneous Tax Sensitivity of Firm-level Investments

Publication Date

11/29/2018

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Abstract

This paper introduces a stylized theoretical framework to identify five different firm types depending on their financial situation and their ownership structure. Based on these firm types, the model explains the heterogeneous tax sensitivity of firm-level investments. Guided by the theoretical model, we empirically identify these partly latent firm types using a threshold estimation approach. The empirical analysis uses a large firm database for 17 countries allowing for a quantification of the regime-specific investment responses to taxation. We find important differences in the tax sensitivity of investment across firm-types for dividend as well as for corporate taxation. The impact of corporate taxation is up to 70% higher for entrepreneurial firms than for managerial firms. In contrast, dividend taxation has a comparable negative effect for cash-constrained managerial firms and entrepreneurial firms but no significant impact on their unconstrained counterparts.