We employ states' enactment of constituency statutes as plausibly exogenous shocks to the marginal cost of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and examine the relation between CSR and corporate tax avoidance. We find almost no evidence of an association between the enactment of constituency statutes and tax avoidance. We use confidence intervals and other analysis to rule out low power as an explanation. Using an instrumental variables design, we find evidence that third-party CSR scores increase following constituency statutes, yet without a detectable impact on tax avoidance. The lack of results across multiple proxies and specifications suggests firms decouple CSR from tax policy. Our study introduces a strong identification strategy common in management research to the accounting literature, producing a novel no-result finding on a popular research question.

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