Taxes, regulations, and the value of U.S. corporations: A reassessment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reassesses the conclusions of McGrattan and Prescott (2005), which derived the quantitative implications of growth theory for U.S. corporate valuations. In addition to having two more decades of data, the analysis incorporates recent changes in policies that affect corporate investments, taxes, and legal-form choice. Secular trends identified in the earlier period remain, with little change in the tangible capital-output ratio or profit share of output. Corporate valuations remain high relative to the postwar average, in line with the theoretical prediction. Critical to this prediction are the decline in effective tax rate on distributions and the rise of foreign direct investment abroad. With the recent enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, corporate valuations are predicted to rise even further relative to GDP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-145
Number of pages15
JournalReview of Economic Dynamics
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
McGrattan acknowledges support from the NSF (Award # 2214248 ). I thank Ioannis Koutsonikolis for excellent research assistance, and I thank conference participants and referees for valuable comments. Replication materials are available at my website. The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis or the Federal Reserve System.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Productive capital stocks
  • Stock market
  • Taxation


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