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Capital-Gains Realizations of the Rich and Sophisticated

  • Jonathan M. Siegel
  • Alan J. Auerbach

This paper attempts to bring theoretical and empirical research on capital gains realization behavior closer together by considering whether investors who appear to engage more in strategic tax avoidance activity also respond differently to tax rates. We find that such investors exhibit significantly smaller responses to permanent tax rate changes than other investors. Put another way, a larger part of their response to capital gains tax rates reflects timing, consistent with their closer adherence to tax avoidance strategies emphasizing arbitrage based on tax rate differentials. This finding holds for two alternative specifications of realization behavior, one of which suggests larger permanent responses to capital gains tax rates than those of previous panel studies.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.90.2.276
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 90 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 276-282

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:2:p:276-282
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.2.276
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  1. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lee, Lung-fei & Maddala, G S & Trost, R P, 1980. "Asymptotic Covariance Matrices of Two-Stage Probit and Two-Stage Tobit Methods for Simultaneous Equations Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 491-503, March.
  3. Alan J. Auerbach, 1988. "Capital Gains Taxation in the United States: Realizations, Revenue, and Rhetoric," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 595-638.
  4. Burman, Leonard E & Randolph, William C, 1994. "Measuring Permanent Responses to Capital-Gains Tax Changes in Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 794-809, September.
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