The significance of tax law asymmetries: An empirical investigation

Rosanne Altshuler, Alan J. Auerbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


This study uses tax return data for U. S. nonfinancial corporations for the period 1971-1982 to estimate the importance of restrictions on the ability of firms to use tax credits and to obtain refunds for tax losses. Our results suggest that the incidence of such unused tax benefits increased substantially during the early 1980s, though we do not find these increases attributable to increased investment incentives during that period. We present estimates of the marginal tax rate on interest payments which take into account unused tax benefits and emphasize the importance of distinguishing current tax payments from marginal tax rates in estimating the incentive to invest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-86
Number of pages26
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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