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Capital Gains Taxes and Equity Trading: Empirical Evidence

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  • Jennifer L. Blouin
  • Jana Smith Raedy
  • Douglas A. Shackelford

Abstract

Individual investors have an incentive to defer selling appreciated stock until it qualifies for tax-favored, long-term capital gains treatment. Shackelford and Verrecchia [2002] show that these incentives can affect equity trading around public disclosures. This article provides some empirical support for their theory with evidence of price increases and equity constrictions around announcements of quarterly earnings and additions to the S&P 500 index. We find share returns rise and trading volume falls with the incremental taxes saved by deferring the sale of appreciated property. The price increases, however, are temporary, reversing in subsequent trading days. The results are consistent with buyers believing the compensation to sell before long-term qualification (through higher prices) is less costly than holding an inappropriately weighted portfolio. This finding-that personal capital gains taxes affect equity trading-adds to a growing literature that challenges longstanding assumptions that firm value is independent of shareholders and their taxes. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2003.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Accounting Research.

Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (09)
Pages: 611-651

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Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:41:y:2003:i:4:p:611-651

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Cited by:
  1. Claudio Agostini & Mariel C. Siravegna, 2009. "Efectos de la Exención Tributaria a las Ganancias de Capital en el Precio de las Acciones en Chile," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv233, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  2. Chongyang Chen & Zhonglan Dai & Douglas Shackelford & Harold Zhang, 2011. "Does Financial Constraint Affect Shareholder Taxes and the Cost of Equity Capital?," NBER Working Papers 17169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zhang, Qi & Cai, Charlie X. & Keasey, Kevin, 2013. "Market reaction to earnings news: A unified test of information risk and transaction costs," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 251-266.
  4. Hanlon, Michelle & Heitzman, Shane, 2010. "A review of tax research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 127-178, December.
  5. Niemann, Rainer & Sureth, Caren, 2009. "Investment effects of capital gains taxation under simultaneous investment and abandonment flexibility," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 77, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  6. Jennifer Blouin & Jana Raedy & Douglas Shackelford, 2010. "Dividends, Share Repurchases, and Tax Clienteles: Evidence from the 2003 Reductions in Shareholder Taxes," NBER Working Papers 16129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. JOhnny Kang & Tapio Pekkala & Christopher Polk & Ruy Ribeiro, 2011. "Stock prices under pressure; How tax and interest rates drive returns at the turn of the tax year," FMG Discussion Papers dp671, Financial Markets Group.
  8. Richard J. Rendleman, Jr. & Douglas A. Shackelford, 2003. "Diversification and the Taxation of Capital Gains and Losses," NBER Working Papers 9674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Desai, Mihir A. & Jin, Li, 2011. "Institutional tax clienteles and payout policy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 68-84, April.
  10. Zhonglan Dai & Edward Maydew & Douglas A. Shackelford & Harold H. Zhang, 2008. "Capital Gains Taxes and Asset Prices: Capitalization or Lock-in?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(2), pages 709-742, 04.
  11. Gries, Thomas & Prior, Ulrich & Sureth, Caren, 2007. "Taxation of risky investment and paradoxical investor behavior," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 26, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
  12. Jennifer L. Blouin & Jana Smith Raedy & Douglas A. Shackelford, 2007. "Did Firms Substitute Dividends for Share Repurchases after the 2003 Reductions in Shareholder Tax Rates?," NBER Working Papers 13601, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Dhaliwal, Dan & Krull, Linda & Li, Oliver Zhen, 2007. "Did the 2003 Tax Act reduce the cost of equity capital?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 121-150, March.
  14. Jennifer L. Blouin & Jana Smith Raedy & Douglas A. Shackelford, 2004. "Did Dividends Increase Immediately After the 2003 Reduction in Tax Rates?," NBER Working Papers 10301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hanlon, Dean & Pinder, Sean, 2007. "An empirical investigation of whether Australian capital gains tax reforms influence individual investor behaviour," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 481-493, November.
  16. Chyz, James A. & Li, Oliver Zhen, 2012. "Do Tax Sensitive Investors Liquidate Appreciated Shares After A Capital Gains Tax Rate Reduction?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(3), pages 595-627, September.
  17. Johnny Kang & Tapio Pekkala & Christopher Polk & Ruy Ribeiro, 2011. "Stock prices under pressure: how tax and interest rates drive returns at the turn of the tax year," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 43096, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  18. Jin, Li & Kothari, S.P., 2008. "Effect of personal taxes on managers' decisions to sell their stock," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 23-46, September.

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