Two Essays on the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation contains two essays. The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 was intended to stimulate the economy by expediting the repatriation of foreign earnings and requiring that those repatriations be invested in domestic operations. The first essay investigates (1) who repatriated foreign earnings under the provisions of the Act, (2) why firms repatriated and (3) what the firms did with the repatriated funds. The first essay identifies 364 firms that repatriated approximately $283 billion under the Act. The only significant increase in expenditures for the repatriating firms was for stock repurchases, an expenditure specifically prohibited under the Act. Firms appear to have repatriated foreign earnings to take advantage of the tax savings without achieving the Act‟s intended objective of increasing domestic investment. The second essay builds on recent research that evaluates the lock-out effect of the U.S. international tax system. The second essay studies the factors associated with the lock-out effect of the U.S. international tax system. Recent evidence suggests that firms that have reached their optimal level of investment in foreign operations will accumulate foreign earnings abroad in financial assets to avoid recording the associated U.S. tax liability. However, prior research has not disentangled the difference between firms that permanently reinvest their foreign earnings for reinvest into operations versus firms that classify their foreign earnings as permanently reinvest to indefinitely defer the recognition of the associated U.S. tax liability. Using a hand-collected sample of firms that repatriated under the one-time tax holiday, I find that the firms were classifying their foreign earnings as permanently reinvested to avoid recognizing the associated U.S. liability before and after the one-time tax holiday. Also, during the tax holiday firms brought back significant amounts of cash previously classified as permanently reinvested foreign earnings suggesting that the earnings were not retained abroad for foreign reinvestment. The results of essay two are consistent with theoretical predictions that firms repatriating under the Act classified their foreign earnings as permanently reinvested to avoid recognizing the associated U.S. tax liability.
Clemons, Roy (2008). Two Essays on the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from