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Capital Gains Tax Rules, Tax-loss Trading, and Turn-of-the-year Returns

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  • James M. Poterba

Abstract

Changes in the capital gains tax rules facing individual investors do not affect the incentives for "window dressing" by institutional investors, but they can affect the incentives for year-end tax-induced trading by individual investors. Empirical evidence for the 1963 to 1996 period suggests that when the tax law encouraged taxable investors who accrued losses early in the year to realize their losses before year-end, the correlation between early year losses and turn-of-the-year returns was weaker than when the law did not provide such an early realization incentive. These findings suggest that tax-loss trading contributes to turn-of-the-year return patterns. Copyright The American Finance Association 2001.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 56 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 353-368

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:56:y:2001:i:1:p:353-368

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  1. Michaely, Roni & Vila, Jean-Luc, 1996. "Trading Volume with Private Valuation: Evidence from the Ex-dividend Day," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 471-509.
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  15. Dyl, Edward A, 1977. "Capital Gains Taxation and Year-End Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(1), pages 165-75, March.
  16. Lakonishok, Josef & Smidt, Seymour, 1986. " Volume for Winners and Losers: Taxation and Other Motives for Stock Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(4), pages 951-74, September.
  17. Constantinides, George M. & Ingersoll, Jonathan Jr., 1984. "Optimal bond trading with personal taxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 299-335, September.
  18. Dyl, Edward A. & Maberly, Edwin D., 1992. "Odd-Lot Transactions around the Turn of the Year and the January Effect," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(04), pages 591-604, December.
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