Corporate Governance and Tax Avoidance: Evidence from U.S. Cross-listing
55 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2019 Last revised: 9 Nov 2020
Date Written: May 25, 2019
Using a sample of cross-listed firms from 51 countries and a difference-in-differences approach that exploits corporate governance shocks induced by cross-listing in the U.S., we find that firms tend to engage in less tax avoidance after cross-listing. This effect is more pronounced for firms that experience significant improvements in corporate governance and for firms from countries with weaker shareholder protection and disclosure requirements. For cross-listed firms with improved corporate governance after cross-listing, tax avoidance activities pursued after cross-listing are positively associated with firm value. Taken together, the results indicate that cross-listing in the U.S. helps align the interests of managers and shareholders and reduces managerial diversion. This finding is consistent with the view that firm- and country-level corporate governance are important determinants of corporate tax-sheltering activities.
Keywords: cross-listing; tax avoidance; corporate governance; shareholder protection
JEL Classification: G21, G18, G32, G34, G35
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation