Stock liquidity and corporate tax avoidance

  • Yangyang Chen
  • Rui GeEmail author
  • Henock Louis
  • Leon Zolotoy


We show that firms with higher stock liquidity engage less in extreme (i.e., overly aggressive or overly conservative) tax avoidance. The effect of stock liquidity on tax avoidance is economically meaningful and robust across alternative measures of tax avoidance and stock liquidity. The findings also hold after controlling for potential endogenous effects. We further document that the effect of stock liquidity on tax avoidance is amplified for firms with high proportions of activist shareholders and attenuated for firms with high levels of stock price informativeness. Overall, our findings suggest that stock liquidity mitigates extreme tax avoidance by enhancing shareholders’ monitoring over firm management.


Stock liquidity Tax avoidance Agency conflicts 

JEL Classification

G10 G30 M40 



We thank Lakshmanan Shivakumar (editor) and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. In addition, we are grateful to Kathleen Bentley, Christine Brown, Viet Cao, Chen Chen, Tarun Chordia, Bin Do, Doug Foster, Jim Frederickson, Phil Gray, Ferdinand Gul, Ole-Kristian Hope, Jungmin Kim, Clive Lennox, Bing Li, Zhenbin Liu, John Lyon, Jeffrey Ng, Doug Skinner, Jamie Tong, Feida (Frank) Zhang, and workshop participants at Monash University, University of New South Wales, and the 2014 UTS Australian Summer Accounting Conference, who commented on earlier versions of this study. Yangyang Chen acknowledges research funding from Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Startup Research Fund: 1-ZE5C). Rui Ge acknowledges research funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (project number: 71202091, 71672165).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yangyang Chen
    • 1
  • Rui Ge
    • 2
    Email author
  • Henock Louis
    • 3
  • Leon Zolotoy
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Accounting and FinanceHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongChina
  2. 2.Shenzhen Audencia Business School - Shenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  3. 3.Department of AccountingPennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA
  4. 4.Melbourne Business SchoolUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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