IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aejpol/v9y2017i4p395-421.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxes: Evidence from Sweden

Author

Listed:
  • David Seim

Abstract

This paper provides an empirical assessment of an annual wealth tax. Using Swedish administrative data, I estimate net-of-tax-rate elasticities of taxable wealth in the range [0.09, 0.27]. Cross-checking self-reported assets against asset data unavailable to the tax agency reveals that around a third of the elasticity estimates are due to underreporting of asset values. Difference-in-difference designs further suggest that the responses reflect evasion and avoidance rather than changes in saving.

Suggested Citation

  • David Seim, 2017. "Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxes: Evidence from Sweden," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 395-421, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:395-421
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20150290
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/pol.20150290
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=ftcCYxsKz2j-gly6u9VL-s6Ge2aBIkhH
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=CSpU0wfqqZbMMAXCoSJwpbOwCObw0ewA
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles/attachments?retrieve=Eeo39SBW4mf2Br1RtVIt7f6xSPpeUZWM
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alexander M. Gelber & Damon Jones & Daniel W. Sacks, 2013. "Earnings Adjustment Frictions: Evidence From Social Security Earnings Test," Working Papers 13-50, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Bastani, Spencer & Selin, Håkan, 2014. "Bunching and non-bunching at kink points of the Swedish tax schedule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 36-49.
    3. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    4. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
    5. Louis Kaplow, 2004. "On the (Ir)Relevance of Distribution and Labor Supply Distortion to Government Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 159-175, Fall.
    6. Mayshar, Joram, 1991. " Taxation with Costly Administration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(1), pages 75-88.
    7. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    8. Joel Slemrod, 2001. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(2), pages 119-128, March.
    9. Louis Kaplow, 2004. "On the (Ir)Relevence of Distribution and Labor Supply Distortion of Government Policy," NBER Working Papers 10490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Martin Feldstein, 1978. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation," NBER Chapters, in: Research in Taxation, pages 29-51, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Robin Boadway, 1974. "A Note on the Welfare Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis," Working Paper 149, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    12. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
    13. M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 3.
    14. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
    15. Hylland, Aanund & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1979. "The Efficient Allocation of Individuals to Positions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(2), pages 293-314, April.
    16. Boadway, Robin W, 1974. "The Welfare Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(336), pages 926-939, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Louis Kaplow, 2020. "A Unified Perspective on Efficiency, Redistribution, and Public Policy," NBER Working Papers 26683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Experimental evidence on the relationship between tax evasion opportunities and labor supply," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 48-70.
    3. Åsa Johansson, 2016. "Public Finance, Economic Growth and Inequality: A Survey of the Evidence," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1346, OECD Publishing.
    4. Auerbach, Alan J., 2006. "Tax Reform in the 21st Century," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt444479wh, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    5. Florian Scheuer & Joel Slemrod, 2020. "Taxing Our Wealth," CESifo Working Paper Series 8719, CESifo.
    6. Saez, Emmanuel & Stantcheva, Stefanie, 2018. "A simpler theory of optimal capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 120-142.
    7. Katrine Jakobsen & Kristian Jakobsen & Henrik Kleven & Gabriel Zucman, 2020. "Wealth Taxation and Wealth Accumulation: Theory and Evidence From Denmark," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(1), pages 329-388.
    8. Abraham, Martin & Lorek, Kerstin & Richter, Friedemann & Wrede, Matthias, 2018. "Breaking the norms: When is evading inheritance taxes socially acceptable?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 85-102.
    9. Matteo Bassi, 2008. "I Will Survive: Capital Taxation, Voter Turnout and Time Inconsistency," CSEF Working Papers 206, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    10. Saez, Emmanuel, 2013. "Optimal progressive capital income taxes in the infinite horizon model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 61-74.
    11. Florian Scheuer & Joel Slemrod, 2021. "Taxing Our Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 207-230, Winter.
    12. Michael Carlos Best & Anne Brockmeyer & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Johannes Spinnewijn & Mazhar Waseem, 2015. "Production versus Revenue Efficiency with Limited Tax Capacity: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(6), pages 1311-1355.
    13. Abraham, Martin & Lorek, Kerstin & Richter, Friedemann & Wrede, Matthias, 2014. "Strictness of tax compliance norms: A factorial survey on the acceptance of inheritance tax evasion in Germany," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 07/2014, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    14. Louis Kaplow, 2006. "Capital Levies and Transition to a Consumption Tax," NBER Working Papers 12259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Torben M. Andersen, 2020. "Taxation of capital income in overlapping generations economies," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(5), pages 1245-1261, September.
    16. Frank M. Fossen & Ray Rees & Davud Rostam-Afschar & Viktor Steiner, 2020. "The effects of income taxation on entrepreneurial investment: A puzzle?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(6), pages 1321-1363, December.
    17. Peter Birch Sørensen, 2006. "Can Capital Income Taxes Survive? And Should They?," EPRU Working Paper Series 06-06, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    18. Diamond, Peter, 2010. "Taxes and Pensions," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 6, pages 59-74.
    19. Piero Gottardi & Atsushi Kajii & Tomoyuki Nakajima, 2015. "Optimal Taxation and Debt with Uninsurable Risks to Human Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3443-3470, November.
    20. Jacobs, Bas & Schindler, Dirk, 2012. "On the desirability of taxing capital income in optimal social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 853-868.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxes: Evidence from Sweden (American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2017) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:395-421. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.