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Risk-Taking, Savings, and Taxation: A Re-examination of Theory and Policy

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  • Syed M. Ahsan

Abstract

Considering broad-based taxes (consumption and income), this paper shows that both savings and risk-taking may be discouraged or left unchanged by proportional taxation with full loss-offsets. The analysis is carried out in a simple two-period model of asset and consumption allocation. These results are in sharp contrast to the standard result obtained in pure portfolio choice theory. The author further shows that a wealth tax may be construed as a "prepayment" version of the (cash flow) consumption tax. Compared with the latter, the wealth tax led to lower savings, but a riskier portfolio.

Suggested Citation

  • Syed M. Ahsan, 1990. "Risk-Taking, Savings, and Taxation: A Re-examination of Theory and Policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(2), pages 408-433, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:23:y:1990:i:2:p:408-33
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    Cited by:

    1. Konrad, Kai A., 1989. "Kapitaleinkommensteuern und beschleunigte Abschreibungen bei Unsicherheit," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 404-427.
    2. Dirk Schindler, 2008. "Taxing Risky Capital Income - A Commodity Taxation Approach," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(3), pages 311-333, September.
    3. Kai A. Konrad, 1990. "A note on depreciation allowances, taxation and risk-taking," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 161-165, Autumn.
    4. Konrad, Kai A., 1991. "The Domar-Musgrave phenomenon and adverse selection," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 41-53, April.
    5. Zodrow, George R., 1995. "Taxation, uncertainty and the choice of a consumption tax base," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 257-265, October.

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