The TCJA Effects Tracker


What Do We Know About the Effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act?

On December 22, 2017, the U.S. tax code was dramatically changed when what is commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law. As tax scholars, we have a keen interest in knowing how the TCJA will change the world. On this page, we are posting empirical academic studies that focus on specific provisions of this monumental tax reform.

We plan to update this page as more studies come out. Further, many of these studies are early working papers, and have not been vetted by the peer-review process, so check back regularly for updates.

Many of these articles below I have curated on my own, or others have shown to me. However, if you would like to request that we add your study, please email me at We are only posting studies that are hosted elsewhere (we prefer they be accessible on SSRN), and that are (1) empirical, (2) academic and (3) focus on the TCJA.

Jeff Hoopes
Jeff Hoopes
Research Director
UNC Tax Center

What Determines Where Opportunity Knocks? Political Affiliation in the Selection of Opportunity Zones

February 07, 2020

Frank, Mary Margaret and Hoopes, Jeffrey L. and Lester, Rebecca

We examine the role of political affiliation during the selection of Opportunity Zones, a place-based tax incentive enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. We find governors are on average 7.6% more likely to select a census tract as an Opportunity Zone when the tract’s state representative is a member of the governor’s political party. Further, we find that this effect ranges from 0.0% to 26.4% based on the state-level processes governors used to select Opportunity Zones, such as engagement of professional advisors and implementation of public comment procedures. These effects are incremental to important demographic factors that also increased the likelihood of selection, such as lower income levels and improving local conditions. These results provide evidence relevant for current Congressional legislative proposals by informing the extent to which state-level politics and processes affected the implementation of this incentive. More

Unlocking Trapped Foreign Cash, Investor Types, and Firm Payout Policy

November 02, 2019

Erik Olson

I study whether trapped foreign cash levels and investor type explain variation in US-based multinationals’ payout policy responses to tax-repatriation-driven cash windfalls. To do so, I use the deemed mandatory repatriation of trapped foreign cash included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). I find my measure of the level of “unlocked” trapped foreign cash (UTC) is related to increases in repurchases and dividends observed post-TCJA. Motivated by prior research, I examine whether this increase in payout varies with institutional investor type: transient, dedicated, and quasi-indexers (Bushee 2001). I find that firms with high UTC and low (high) dedicated ownership see an increase (no change) in repurchases post-TCJA. I do not observe similar variation with investor type for dividends. More

Changes in CEO Compensation after the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act and the Impact of Corporate Governance: Initial Evidence

September 16, 2019

Luna, LeAnn and Schuchard, Kathleen, and Stanley, Danielle

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) expanded the impact of IRC Section 162(m) by disallowing deductions for any compensation over $1 million paid to top executives. Under prior law qualified performance-based pay was exempt from the $1 million cap. We examine whether TCJA affected compensation decisions in the first year following enactment. More

Stock Repurchases and the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

September 12, 2019

Bennett, Benjamin and Thakor, Anjan and Wang, Zexi

We study the effects of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on repurchases, leverage and investment. The TCJA generatestax windfalls through a repatriation tax cut and a corporate income tax cut. More

Where Is the Opportunity in Opportunity Zones? Early Indicators of the Opportunity Zone Program’s Impact on Commercial Property Prices

August 01, 2019

Sage, Alan and Langen, Mike and Van de Minne, Alex

In December 2017, the U.S. Congress passed into law the Opportunity Zone (OZ) program, offering significant tax benefits for property investments in designated low-income census tracts. More

Examining the Immediate Effects of Recent Tax Law Changes on the Structure of Executive Compensation

June 17, 2019

De Simone, Lisa and McClure, Charles and Stomberg, Bridget

We exploit a December 22, 2017 law change to examine the relation between corporate taxes and executive compensation. More

Debt and Taxes? The Effect of TCJA Interest Limitations on Capital Structure

June 14, 2019

Carrizosa, Richard and Gaertner, Fabio B. and Lynch, Dan

Using a difference-in-differences design, we show that new limitations on the deductibility of interest, enacted as part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), significantly decrease corporate leverage. More

The Effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 on Multinational Firms’ Capital Investment: Internal Capital Market Frictions and Tax Incentives

May 01, 2019

Beyer, Brooke and Downes, Jimmy F. and Mathis, Mollie E. and Rapley, Eric T

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) imposes a mandatory repatriation tax on multinational firms’ unremitted foreign earnings. More

Making Only America Great? Non-U.S. Market Reactions to U.S. Tax Reform

March 30, 2019

Gaertner, Fabio B. and Hoopes, Jeffrey L. and Williams, Braden

We study foreign externalities of U.S. tax reform. Specifically, we examine foreign firms’ stock returns around key tax reform events. More

The Magnitude and Accuracy of Companies’ Estimates of the Immediate Financial Statement Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

March 18, 2019

Chen, Shannon and Erickson, Matthew and Harding, Michelle and Stomberg, Bridget and Xia, Junwei

We provide evidence of the final, immediate financial statement impact of some of the major provisions of the 2017 U.S. tax law changes, commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). More