Financial Sector Debt Bias

Author/Editor:

Oana Luca ; Alexander F. Tieman

Publication Date:

November 10, 2016

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

Most tax systems create a tax bias toward debt finance. Such debt bias increases leverage and may negatively affect financial stability. This paper models and estimates debt bias in the financial sector, and present novel estimates for investment banks and non-bank financial intermediaries such as finance and insurance companies. We find debt bias to be pervasive, explaining as much as 10 percent of total leverage for regular banks and 20 percent for investment banks, with the effects most pronounced before the global financial crisis. Going forward, debt bias is likely to once again gain prominence as a key driver of leverage decisions, underscoring the importance of policy reform at this juncture.

Series:

Working Paper No. 16/217

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

November 10, 2016

ISBN/ISSN:

9781475552805/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2016217

Format:

Paper

Pages:

38

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