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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Governments often subsidize startups with the goal of spurring entrepreneurship using tax incentives. Exploiting the staggered implementation of angel investor tax credits in 31 U.S. states from 1988 to 2018, we find that these programs increase the number of angel investments and average investment size.

This study examines the relation between audit personnel salaries and office-level audit quality. We measure audit personnel salaries at the associate, senior, and manager ranks for Big 4 audit offices from 2004 to 2013, using unique individual-auditor-level data obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor.

We measure a bank’s connectedness by constructing a measure of its text similarity with other banks based on 10-K business description and MD&A discussions. We find that tail-risk comovement between a given bank and the banking system is increasing in the bank’s average similarity.

Feb 9, 2017

IRS Attention

We study how public and private disclosure requirements interact to influence both tax regulator enforcement and firm disclosure. We find that, following Schedule UTP, firms significantly increased the quantity and altered the content of their tax‐related disclosures, consistent with lower tax‐related proprietary costs of disclosure. Our results suggest that changes in SEC disclosure requirements altered the IRS's behavior with regard to public information acquisition, and, relatedly, changes in IRS private disclosure requirements appear to change firms’ public disclosure behavior.

This study provides evidence on whether investors value tax gross-up provisions for executives, and how the elimination of these provisions changes executive compensation. We examine the market response to tax gross-up eliminations and find investors react favorably to the removal of these provisions, suggesting that on average, investors perceived these agreements as a bad compensation practice that destroyed firm value.

This paper examines how tax uncertainty created by highly aggressive tax planning affects a firm's investment decisions. The tax uncertainty that we study arises from tax choices of such inadequate merit that the firms themselves believe that they will lose if audited. Consistent with a simple model that we develop, we find that investments in fixed assets and research and development are increasing, at a decreasing rate, in the tax savings from these aggressive plans.

Auditors are expected by the public and to find all financial statement fraud, even though Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) have long held that auditors may not be able to detect all frauds. In this article, we use examples from the experience of an expert witness in numerous major fraud cases where auditors were sued for not detecting fraud to illustrate situations in which auditors can, and cannot, reasonably be expected to detect fraud.

Exploiting a 2004 reduction in a unique capital gains withholding tax for foreign investors in U.S. publicly traded REITs, this paper explores both the sensitivity of real estate investors to changes in their own taxes and the reaction of real estate managers to changes in their investors' taxes. We find that both foreign investors and REIT managers responded to the tax change.

Co-production (simultaneous production of multiple outputs) occurs in some emission-intensive basic material and agricultural industries. This paper is motivated by ones in which a supplier sells its primary product to a buyer that incurs an emissions cost (voluntarily, or due to government-imposed climate policy) and sells co-products into markets without emissions costs.

This paper presents an empirical investigation of the effect of changes in capital gains tax rate on stock return volatility. We focus on two observable cross-sectional variations in the extent to which changes in capital gains tax rate affect return volatility — unrealized capital gains and dividend distributions.

We show that firms’ ability to avoid taxes is affected by the quality of their internal information environment, with lower effective tax rates (ETRs) for firms that have high internal information quality. The effect of internal information quality on tax avoidance is stronger for firms in which information is likely to play a more important role.

In a roundtable discussion, several executives discussed today's corporate income tax and the fundamental assertions on which it is based and how political factors might be overcome to drive effective reform. PwC principal Andrew Lyon said an increase in the corporate tax rate appeals to many US voters who believe that corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes and are worried about widening income inequality.