On the Capital Structure of Foreign Subsidiaries

Research Seminars

Evidence from a Panel Data Quantile Regression Model

The paper presented in this Research Seminar studies how variations in tax rates and profitability affect the (unconditional) quantiles of the distribution of the leverage of European foreign owned subsidiaries in the presence of unobserved company characteristics, possibly correlated with their observable dimensions. To achieve their goal, the authors suggest how to apply Firpo et al. (2009) approach to the estimation of unconditional quantile partial effects in a model with correlated random effects. The results show that the impact of taxes and profitability on subsidiaries’ financial choices varies across different quantiles of the (skewed) distribution of leverage. In particular, when the leverage ratio is low enough, an increase in a subsidiary’s tax rate stimulates its borrowing. When however, the leverage ratio is high enough, taxes do not matter. The paper also finds that the parent company’s tax rate has a positive impact on a subsidiary’s leverage ratio only if its starting leverage ratio is low enough. Finally, profitability (proxied by ROA) has either a negative or null impact, depending on the leverage ratio and the tax rate used (namely, statutory or effective marginal tax rates).


ZEW Mannheim and online



Institute address

ZEW Mannheim and online


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  • Room Raum 1