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How Do Stamp Duties Affect the Housing Market?

  • Ian Davidoff
  • Andrew Leigh

Land transfer taxes are a substantial portion of the cost of moving house in many developed countries. Since stamp duties are endogenous with respect to the house price, we create an instrumental variable that is the stamp duty on a property, given that postcode's starting house price and the national house price trend. In a specification with postcode and year fixed effects, this instrument effectively captures policy changes and nonlinearities in the stamp duty schedule. We find that the impact of an increase in the tax rate is to lower house prices, suggesting that the economic incidence of the tax falls on the seller. We also observe impacts of stamp duty on housing turnover. A 10 per cent increase in stamp duty lowers turnover by 3 per cent in the first year, and by 6 per cent if sustained over a 3 year period.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/1475-4932.12056
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Article provided by The Economic Society of Australia in its journal The Economic Record.

Volume (Year): 89 (2013)
Issue (Month): 286 (09)
Pages: 396-410

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:89:y:2013:i:286:p:396-410
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  1. Jos Van Ommeren & Michiel van Leuvensteijn, 2003. "New evidence of the effect of transaction costs on residential mobility," ERSA conference papers ersa03p7, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Oates, Wallace E, 1969. "The Effects of Property Taxes and Local Public Spending on Property Values: An Empirical Study of Tax Capitalization and the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(6), pages 957-71, Nov./Dec..
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  7. Paul Frijters & Andrew Leigh, 2005. "Materialism on the March: From Conspicuous Leisure to Conspicuous Consumption?," CEPR Discussion Papers 495, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. Judith Yates, 2011. "Housing in Australia in the 2000s: On the Agenda Too Late?," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Hugo Gerard & Jonathan Kearns (ed.), The Australian Economy in the 2000s Reserve Bank of Australia.
  9. Benjamin, John D & Coulson, N Edward & Yang, Shiawee X, 1993. "Real Estate Transfer Taxes and Property Values: The Philadelphia Story," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 151-57, September.
  10. Dietz, Robert D. & Haurin, Donald R., 2003. "The social and private micro-level consequences of homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 401-450, November.
  11. Andrew Leigh, 2005. "Can Redistributive State Taxes Reduce Inequality?," CEPR Discussion Papers 490, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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