Product Market Power and Tax Avoidance: Market Leaders, Mimicking Strategies, and Stock Returns
Posted: 14 Feb 2013 Last revised: 17 Jul 2014
Date Written: December 12, 2013
Product market power provides firms with comparative advantages through more persistent profitability and insulation from competitive threats. These advantages likely provide firms with the ability to engage in greater tax avoidance. We present evidence consistent with this hypothesis. We also show that firms mimic the tax outcomes of their product market leaders. Among firms with greater product market power and comparatively high cash tax avoidance, we find stock prices to be less informative and that investors require additional compensation for the risks associated with comparatively high cash tax avoidance. Our results survive numerous robustness tests. Overall, our results suggest that industry dynamics, particularly related to a firm’s competitive position, play a meaningful role in corporate tax policy.
Keywords: Tax avoidance, Product market competition, Agency costs, Mimicry
JEL Classification: D40, G32, H26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation