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New Evidence on the January Effect before Personal Income Taxes


  • Jones, Steven L
  • Lee, Winson
  • Apenbrink, Rudolf


The authors examine the returns of stocks in the Cowles Industrial Index before and after the introduction of personal income taxes in 1917. This is distinct from earlier studies because they cross-sectionally analyze the relationship between the returns of the individual stocks and measures of tax-loss selling potential and size. The authors find that excess returns at the turn-of-the-year and for the month of January were not significant until after 1917. These results provide strong support for the tax-loss selling hypothesis as an explanation for the January seasonal in the returns of small firms. Copyright 1991 by American Finance Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Jones, Steven L & Lee, Winson & Apenbrink, Rudolf, 1991. "New Evidence on the January Effect before Personal Income Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1909-1924, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:46:y:1991:i:5:p:1909-24

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    Cited by:

    1. Easterday, Kathryn E. & Sen, Pradyot K., 2016. "Is the January effect rational? Insights from the accounting valuation model," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 168-185.
    2. Chen, Tsung-Cheng & Chien, Chin-Chen, 2011. "Size effect in January and cultural influences in an emerging stock market: The perspective of behavioral finance," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 208-229, April.
    3. Praveen Kumar Das & S. P. Uma Rao, 2012. "Is The Value Effect Seasonal? Evidence From Global Equity Markets," The International Journal of Business and Finance Research, The Institute for Business and Finance Research, vol. 6(2), pages 21-33.
    4. Wagner, Moritz & Lee, John Byong-Tek & Margaritis, Dimitris, 2022. "Mutual fund flows and seasonalities in stock returns," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    5. Sun, Qian & Tong, Wilson H.S., 2010. "Risk and the January effect," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 965-974, May.
    6. Praveen Kumar Das & S P Uma Rao, 2011. "Value Premiums And The January Effect: International Evidence," The International Journal of Business and Finance Research, The Institute for Business and Finance Research, vol. 5(4), pages 1-15.
    7. Rajesh Elangovan & Francis Gnanasekar Irudayasamy & Satyanarayana Parayitam, 2022. "Month-of-the-Year Effect: Empirical Evidence from Indian Stock Market," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer;Japanese Association of Financial Economics and Engineering, vol. 29(3), pages 449-476, September.
    8. Steven L. Jones & Winson Lee, 1995. "Evidence On The Behavior Of Bid And Ask Prices At The Turn Of The Year: Implications For The Survival Of Stock Return Seasonality," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 18(4), pages 383-400, December.
    9. Agapova, Anna & Volkov, Nikanor, 2021. "Asymmetric tax-induced trading: The effect of capital gains tax changes," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 245-259.
    10. Chen, Zhongdong & Schmidt, Adam & Wang, Jin’ai, 2021. "Retail investor risk-seeking, attention, and the January effect," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(C).
    11. Chien-Liang Chiu & Paoyu Huang & Min-Yuh Day & Yensen Ni & Yuhsin Chen, 2024. "Mastery of “Monthly Effects”: Big Data Insights into Contrarian Strategies for DJI 30 and NDX 100 Stocks over a Two-Decade Period," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 12(2), pages 1-22, January.
    12. Griffiths, Mark D. & Turnbull, D. Alasdair S. & White, Robert W., 1999. "Re-examining the small-cap myth: problems in portfolio formation and liquidation," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 201-221.

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