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Tax Subsidies and Household Saving: Evidence from Canada

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  • Gary V. Engelhardt

Abstract

Targeted tax-based saving incentives can be a powerful tool for promoting household and national saving. This study examines the effect of the cancellation of the Registered Home Ownership Savings Plan (RHOSP), a Canadian tax-subsidized saving program, on household saving. The cancellation provides exogenous variation in eligibility for the subsidy that is uncorrelated with householdspecific heterogeneity in saving behavior. The empirical analysis suggests that the subsidy had a substantial impact on saving: each dollar contributed to the program represented 56-93 and 20-57 cents of new household and national saving, respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary V. Engelhardt, 1996. "Tax Subsidies and Household Saving: Evidence from Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1237-1268.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:4:p:1237-1268.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2946714
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    Cited by:

    1. Mills, Gregory & Gale, William G. & Patterson, Rhiannon & Engelhardt, Gary V. & Eriksen, Michael D. & Apostolov, Emil, 2008. "Effects of individual development accounts on asset purchases and saving behavior: Evidence from a controlled experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1509-1530, June.
    2. Gary V. Engelhardt, 2000. "Have 401(k)s Raised Household Saving? Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 33, McMaster University.
    3. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2003. "Tax incentives and the demand for life insurance: evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1779-1799, August.
    4. Michal Grinstein-Weiss & Michael Sherraden & William G. Gale & William M. Rohe & Mark Schreiner & Clinton Key, 2013. "Long-Term Impacts of Individual Development Accounts on Homeownership among Baseline Renters: Follow-Up Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 122-145, February.
    5. Engelhardt, Gary V. & Madrian, Brigitte C., 2004. "Employee Stock Purchase Plans," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 57(2), pages 385-406, June.
    6. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1996. "How Retirement Saving Programs Increase Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 91-112, Fall.
    7. Schlueter, Tobias & Sievers, Soenke & Hartmann-Wendels, Thomas, 2015. "Bank funding stability, pricing strategies and the guidance of depositors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 43-61.
    8. Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley, 2015. "Do the Rich Save More? Evidence from Canada," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(4), pages 739-758, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Tullio Jappelli & Luigi Pistaferri, 2002. "Tax Incentives for Household Saving and Borrowing," CSEF Working Papers 83, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    11. Nuno C. Martins & Ernesto Villanueva, 2003. "The impact of interest-rate subsidies on long-term household debt: Evidence from a large program," Economics Working Papers 713, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    12. Sule Alan & Kadir Atalay & Thomas F. Crossley, 2006. "Do the Rich Save More in Canada?," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 406, McMaster University.
    13. Broadbent, Ben & Kremer, Michael, 2001. "Does favorable tax-treatment of housing reduce non-housing investment?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 369-391, September.
    14. Bernheim, B. Douglas, 2002. "Taxation and saving," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 1173-1249, Elsevier.
    15. Mark Schreiner, 2001. "Match Rates and Savings: Evidence from Individual Development Accounts," Microeconomics 0108003, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 Dec 2001.
    16. Marsha J. Courchane & Judith A. Giles, 2002. "A Comparison of U.S. and Canadian Residential Mortgage Markets," Econometrics Working Papers 0201, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
    17. Engelhardt, Gary V. & Eriksen, Michael D. & Gale, William G. & Mills, Gregory B., 2010. "What are the social benefits of homeownership? Experimental evidence for low-income households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 249-258, May.
    18. Seng-Eun Choi, 2010. "Social Security and Household Saving in Korea: Evidence from the Household Income and Expenditure Survey," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 26, pages 97-119.
    19. Thomas Gries & Ha van Dung, 2014. "Household Savings and Productive Capital Formation in Rural Vietnam: Insurance vs. Social Network," Working Papers CIE 81, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    20. Schlüter, Tobias & Sievers, Sönke & Hartmann-Wendels, Thomas, 2012. "How can banks effectively stabilize their retail customers saving behavior? The impact of contractual rewards on saving persistence and cash flow volatility," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62057, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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