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Tax-preferred savings accounts and marginal tax rates: evidence on RRSP participation

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  • Kevin Milligan

Abstract

The effect of taxes on participation in Registered Retirement Savings Plans between 1982 and 1996 is studied. Interprovincial changes in the tax structure over this period provide identifying variation. Using this variation, I find that taxes influence households' participation decisions, but more weakly than previously estimated. A 10 percentage point increase in the marginal tax rate is estimated to increase the probability of participation by 8 per cent. This explains only 5.1 per cent of the trend in participation. I also find suggestive evidence that the carryforward mechanism may be used as an instrument for tax base smoothing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 436-456

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:35:y:2002:i:3:p:436-456

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Cited by:
  1. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2003. "Simulating the Response to Reform of Canada's Income Security Programs," NBER Working Papers 9455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley & Sung-Hee Jeon, 2009. "New Evidence on Taxes and Portfolio Choice," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 245, McMaster University.
  3. Selin, Håkan, 2009. "Marginal tax rates and tax-favoured pension savings of the selfemployed Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2009:4, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley, 2013. "Do the Rich Save More in Canada?," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1312, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  5. Engelhardt, Gary V. & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2004. "Employee Stock Purchase Plans," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 385-406, June.
  6. Juan Ayuso & Juan F. Jimeno & Ernesto Villanueva, 2007. "The effects of the introduction of tax incentives on retirement savings," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0724, Banco de Espa�a.
  7. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2007. "Simulating the Response to Reform of Canada," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications of Reform, pages 83-118 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Elena Simonova & Rock Lefebvre, 2008. "How Pressing is it to Revisit the Treatment of Capital Gains?," Working Papers 081203, Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.

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