Are Firms Stockpiling Foreign Earnings? Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Howard, Margot
    • Affiliation: Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (the Act) created a temporary opportunity for U.S. firms to repatriate certain foreign earnings, determined in part by a firm's permanently reinvested earnings (PRE), at a significantly reduced tax rate. Firm balances of PRE have soared over recent years and some have speculated that it is partially attributable to the Act. My results reveal that firms experienced a spike in changes to PRE after the Act only in 2006, rather than an ongoing trend of increased changes to PRE throughout the post-Act period. I also examine whether the Act changed investor expectations related to repatriation tax liabilities and my results indicate that while there was no permanent shift in valuation, investors responded to the possibility of another tax holiday. Overall, my results provide insight into the firm and market effects of tax legislation and shed light on the "stockpiling" of PRE as discussed by the media, legislators, and the related literature amid concerns that the Act has led firms to hoard disproportionately large amounts of foreign profits overseas in anticipation of another tax holiday.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Shackelford, Douglas A.
  • Labro, Eva
  • Bushman, Robert
  • Maydew, Edward
  • Lang, Mark
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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