Public Finance in the Era of the COVID-19 Crisis
18-20 August 2021 | Online, Organized by University of Iceland, Reykjavík
Overview and details of the sessions of this online conference.
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Some information on the session logistics:The last speaker of each session is the session chair. The discussant is always the following speaker, with the first speaker being the discussant of the last paper. Each paper has a 22-minutes-block in all sessions. There should be 15 minutes and no more than 18 minutes for the presenter. The discussion is then started by the discussant. Please note that the role of the discussant is different compared to previous years: The discussant has only 1-2 minutes and s/he is not allowed to give a lengthy summary of the paper together with comprehensive comments. Instead, her/his task is to raise one single question/comment and, in doing so, start the general discussion! All participants are asked to be strict in timing to allow people to change sessions during the general discussion. For a (rare) session with less papers in the session than the time slot allows, stick to the congress schedule and use 22 minutes per presentation to allow listeners to smoothly change between sessions. Only registered participants can attend this online conference. Further information available on the congress website https://iipf2021.hi.is/ .
Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 5th Dec 2021, 06:30:45pm GMT
F06: Payout Taxation
2:15pm - 2:37pm
Higher Dividend Taxes, No Problem! Evidence from Taxing Entrepreneurs in France
Princeton University, United States of America
This paper investigates how the 2013 three-fold increase in the dividend tax rate in France affected firms' investment and performance. Using administrative data covering the universe of firms over 2008-2017 and a quasi-experimental setting, we find that firms swiftly cut dividend payments. Firms use this tax-induced increase in liquidity to invest more, particularly when facing high demand and return on capital. For every euro of undistributed dividends, firms increase their investment by 0.3 euro, leading to higher sales growth. Heterogeneity analyses show that no group of firms cut their investment, thereby rejecting models in which higher dividend taxes increase the cost of capital. Overall, our results show that the tax-induced increase in liquidity relaxes credit constraints and can reduce capital misallocation.
2:37pm - 3:00pm
Follow the Money! Combining Household And Firm-level Evidence To Unravel The Tax Elasticity of Dividends
PSE IPP, France
We estimate the tax elasticity of dividends using two recent French reforms: a hike in the dividend tax rate followed, five years later, by a cut. To follow the cash movements within the balance sheets of households and firms caused by these reforms, we use newly-accessible personal and corporate tax registries. Following the tax increase, the elasticity of dividends equals four and there is no shifting towards other personal income categories. We find instead an increase in companies’ spending. After the tax decrease, payouts revert to their initial level, but not enough to offset the amounts received during the high-tax period.
3:00pm - 3:22pm
Capital Gains Taxes and Real Corporate Investment
University of British Columbia, Canada
This paper assesses the effects of capital gains taxes on investment by exploiting a unique setting in Korea, where capital gains tax rates vary by firm size. Following a reform in 2014, firms with a tax cut increased investment by 35 log points, and issued more equity by 9 cents per dollar of lagged revenue, relative to unaffected firms. Additionally, the effects were larger for firms that appeared more cash-constrained or went public after the reform. Taken together, these findings are consistent with the “traditional view” predicting that lower payout taxes spur equity-financed investment by increasing marginal returns on investment.
3:22pm - 3:45pm
Dividend Tax Reform: Evidence from Greek Administrative Data
1Utah State University; 2University of Oxford; 3University of Ioannina
We analyse the effects of the introduction of a 10 percent flat tax on dividends in Greece on firm behaviour. We leverage a population of company tax return matched with detailed company accounts at the micro level. We use the exogenous variation in how the policy affected companies with different financial year-end dates in the same calendar year for identification. We compare firms with December closing dates which were immediately affected by the tax introduction to firms with June closing dates which could declare tax-free dividends in that year. We find that December closing firms reduce the amount that they distribute as dividends, both by decreasing the incidence of distributions at the extensive margin and by decreasing the amount distributed, relative to mid-year closing firms. As a consequence, we find that mid-year closing firms increase their reserves and investment in land and buildings in response to the reform.
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