Leverage, Corporate Taxes and Debt Shifting of Multinationals: The Impact of Firm-Specific Risk

31 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2018

See all articles by Ulrich Glogowsky

Ulrich Glogowsky

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Matthias Dischinger

University of Munich

Marcus Strobel

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Date Written: January 21, 2015

Abstract

Firms have the incentive to enhance debt financing with higher corporate tax rates due to the increased value of interest deductions from the tax base. However, external debt is relatively costly for corporations with a high firm-specific risk. Moreover, for multinationals, the shifting of internal debt opens up additional tax saving opportunities. Using a large database of European multinationals for the years 1998–2006, first, we provide evidence that the debt-to-assets ratio is positively affected by the statutory corporate tax rate. Second, we show that multinational subsidiaries use debt shifting with the parent as well as external debt to get advantage of the depreciation tax shield. Third, we provide evidence that subsidiaries with a high firm-specific risk are more involved in debt shifting than low-risk subsidiaries. Vice-versa, low-risk affiliates use external debt more intensively. We address endogeneity concerns on our firm-specific risk proxies with a sectoral analysis comparing high-risk with low-risk industries based on exogenous information and find a similar, even more extreme pattern.

Keywords: multinational enterprise, corporate taxation, debt financing, profit shifting, firm-specific risk proxy variables

JEL Classification: H25, F23, G32, H26

Suggested Citation

Glogowsky, Ulrich and Dischinger, Matthias and Strobel, Marcus, Leverage, Corporate Taxes and Debt Shifting of Multinationals: The Impact of Firm-Specific Risk (January 21, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3110185 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3110185

Ulrich Glogowsky (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

Matthias Dischinger

University of Munich ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

Marcus Strobel

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
33
Abstract Views
924
PlumX Metrics