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The Optimal Taxation of Dividends in a Small Open Economy

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  • Clemens Fuest
  • Bernd Huber

Abstract

This paper analyses the optimal taxation of dividends and other types of income from portfolio investment. We show that, in an open economy, it is not desirable to offer double taxation relief for dividends paid by domestic firms to domestic households. This result holds for fairly general utility functions. The reason is that the marginal shareholder in domestic firms is a foreign investor. This implies that the level of real investment is not affected by the taxation of domestic dividend income at the household level. A reduction of the tax burden on dividends is therefore merely an undesirable subsidy on domestic asset holdings. Our results also extend the literature on the optimal taxation of risky asset income in general.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2000/wp-cesifo-2000-10/cesifo_wp348.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 348.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_348

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Related research

Keywords: Dividends; international taxation; portfolio investment;

References

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  1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1982. "The Inefficiency of the Stock Market Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 241-61, April.
  2. Roger H. Gordon & Hal R. Varian, 1986. "Taxation of Asset Income in the Presence of a World Securites Market," NBER Working Papers 1994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robin Boadway & Neil Bruce, 1988. "Problems with Integrating Corporate and Personal Income Taxes in an Open Economy," Working Papers 735, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Wolfram Richter, 1992. "The optimal taxation of risky capital income: An elasticity rule," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 101-111, February.
  5. Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. "Normative Aspects of Differential, State-Contingent Capital Income Taxation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(2), pages 286-301, April.
  6. Gordon, Roger H, 1985. "Taxation of Corporate Capital Income: Tax Revenues versus Tax Distortions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-27, February.
  7. Michael Devereux & Harold Freeman, 1995. "The impact of tax on foreign direct investment: Empirical evidence and the implications for tax integration schemes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 85-106, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Reuven Avi-Yonah, . "The Pitfalls of International Integration: A Comment on the Bush Proposal and Its Aftermath," University of Michigan John M. Olin Center for Law & Economics Working Paper Series umichlwps-1007, University of Michigan John M. Olin Center for Law & Economics.
  2. Seppo Kari & Jouko Ylä-Liedenpohja, 2002. "Classical Corporation Tax as a Global Means of Tax Harmonization," Discussion Papers 266, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  3. Reuven Avi-Yonah, 2005. "The Pitfalls of International Integration: A Comment on the Bush Proposal and its Aftermath," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 87-95, January.
  4. Michael P. Devereux & Peter Birch Sørensen, 2006. "The Corporate Income Tax: international trends and options for fundamental reform," European Economy - Economic Papers 264, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

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