No. 74: The role of creditor protection in lending and tax avoidance

Year: 2022
Type: Working Paper


We examine how creditor rights affect the trade-off between non-debt and debt tax shields. Using four bankruptcy reforms, a panel of private and public firms, and tax return data from Italy, we show that laws empowering creditors reduce tax avoidance and increase debt financing, consistent with firms substituting non-debt tax shields with debt tax shields. We corroborate the validity of our findings using a panel of public firms across 33 countries. We further document that the impact of creditor protection laws is mitigated by tax system characteristics, which significantly reduce the incentives to substitute tax avoidance with debt.

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, Goethe University Frankfurt, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and University of Cologne who share the same research agenda.

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