Dividend taxes, employment, and firm productivity

Abstract

The paper examines the effect of dividend taxation on employment and productivity. I exploit a dividend tax cut of 10 percentage points for closely held private corporations in Sweden. Using data on all closely held Swedish firms with exact information on employees and their wages, I find that firms with limited internal funds increase productivity and wages relative to firms with sufficient internal funds whose investment decisions are less affected by dividend taxes. My findings indicate that dividend taxes constrain firms in investing efficiently. Lower taxes can result in higher capital and labor input and, thus, in higher productivity.

Participating Institutions

TRR 266‘s main locations are Paderborn University (Coordinating University), HU Berlin, and University of Mannheim. All three locations have been centers for accounting and tax research for many years. They are joined by researchers from LMU Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, ESMT Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt and Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg who share the same research agenda.