Housing capital-gains taxation and homeowner mobility: Evidence from the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
We provide new evidence on the impact of housing capital-gains taxation on homeowner behavior by examining residential mobility before and after the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA97), which generated the most sweeping reform of capital-gains taxation in the last two decades. In addition to lowering marginal tax rates on long-term capital gains for all assets, TRA97 also eliminated any differential treatment of housing gains above and below age 55, allowing all homeowners to qualify for capital-gains exclusions. Utilizing data drawn from the Current Population Survey (CPS) on either side of the law change (1996 and 1998) on homeowners just above (56-58 year olds) and below (52-54 year olds) the age-55 threshold and a reduced-form, difference-in-difference empirical approach, our estimates suggest that the repeal of the differential capital-gains tax treatment by age embodied in TRA97 had an economically important and statistically significant impact on the residential mobility of under-55 homeowners. Across a variety of specifications, the repeal raised the mobility rate by around 1-1.4 percentage points, which, for a mean mobility rate of 4 percentage points, represented an increase in the mobility rate of homeowners in their early 50s by 22-31%. Furthermore, the bulk of this effect was concentrated among highly mobile homeowners who a priori were more likely to have wanted to trade down (e.g., divorced, empty nesters), those facing higher capital gains tax rates, and those living in states that had experienced higher rates of nominal appreciation.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- William H. Hoyt & Stuart S. Rosenthal, 1989.
"Capital gains taxation and the demand for owner-occupied housing,"
Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section
92, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Hoyt, William H & Rosenthal, Stuart S, 1990. "Capital Gains Taxation and the Demand for Owner-Occupied Housing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(1), pages 45-54, February.
- Sinai, Todd & Gyourko, Joseph, 2004.
"The asset price incidence of capital gains taxes: evidence from the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and publicly-traded real estate firms,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1543-1565, July.
- Todd Sinai & Joseph Gyourko, 2000. "The Asset Price Incidence of Capital Gains Taxes: Evidence from the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and Publicly-Traded Real Estate Firms," NBER Working Papers 7893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Todd Sinai & Joseph Gyourko, "undated". "The Asset Price Incidence of Capital Gains Taxes: Evidence from the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and Publicly-Traded Real Estate Firms," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 311, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
- Douglas A. Shackelford, 2000. "Stock Market Reaction to Capital Gains Tax Changes: Empirical Evidence from the 1997 and 1998 Tax Acts," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 14, pages 67-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Green, Richard K. & Vandell, Kerry D., 1999. "Giving households credit: How changes in the U.S. tax code could promote homeownership," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 419-444, July.
- Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 2001.
"Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 1063-1114.
- Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1999. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 7363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1998. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," JCPR Working Papers 32, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Engelhardt, Gary V., 2003. "Nominal loss aversion, housing equity constraints, and household mobility: evidence from the United States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 171-195, January.
- Hanushek, Eric A. & Quigley, John M., 1979. "The dynamics of the housing market: A stock adjustment model of housing consumption," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 90-111, January.
- Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
- Gary V. Engelhardt & Jonathan Gruber & Cynthia D. Perry, 2005. "Social Security and Elderly Living Arrangements: Evidence from the Social Security Notch," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2), pages -.
- Sandra Newman & James Reschovsky, 1987. "An Evaluation of the One-Time Capital Gains Exclusion for Older Homeowners," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 15(1), pages 704-724.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:63:y:2008:i:3:p:803-815. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.