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Thomas J. Brennan, Where the Money Really Went: A New Understanding of the AJCA Tax Holiday, (Nw. L. & Econ. Res. Paper No. 13-35, 2014).

Abstract: International tax policy debate has been informed by a belief based on prior research that, notwithstanding legal prohibitions, shareholder payouts in 2005 accounted for $0.60-$0.92 per dollar repatriated under the AJCA tax holiday. I analyze total payouts that year and prove that this is false. Additionally, I estimate actual spending changes using firm-by-firm constrained regressions over a 5-year post-holiday window. Top-20 repatriators (56% of all repatriated cash) spent heterogeneously, with $0.72 per repatriated dollar associated with AJCA-permissible uses, including cash acquisitions ($0.49), debt reductions ($0.10), and R&D ($0.09). For smaller repatriators, $0.59 per dollar was associated with permissible uses.