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Housing and Tax Policy


  • Sami Alpanda
  • Sarah Zubairy


In this paper, we investigate the effects of housing-related tax policy measures on macroeconomic aggregates using a dynamic general-equilibrium model. The model features borrowing and lending across heterogeneous households, financial frictions in the form of collateral constraints tied to house prices, and a rental housing market alongside owner-occupied housing. Using our model, we analyze the effects of changes in housing-related tax policy measures on the level of output, tax revenue and household debt, along with other macroeconomic aggregates. The tax policies we consider are (i) increasing property tax rates, (ii) eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, (iii) eliminating the depreciation allowance for rental income, (iv) instituting taxation of imputed rental income from owner-occupied housing and (v) eliminating the property tax deduction. We find that among these fiscal tools, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction would be the most effective in raising tax revenue, and in reducing household debt, per unit of output lost. On the other hand, eliminating the depreciation allowance for rental income would be the least effective. Our experiments also highlight the differential welfare impact of each tax policy on savers, borrowers and renters.

Suggested Citation

  • Sami Alpanda & Sarah Zubairy, 2013. "Housing and Tax Policy," Staff Working Papers 13-33, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:13-33

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meenakshi Basant Roi & Rhys R. Mendes, 2007. "Should Central Banks Adjust Their Target Horizons in Response to House-Price Bubbles?," Discussion Papers 07-4, Bank of Canada.
    2. Martin Gervais & Manish Pandey, 2008. "Who Cares About Mortgage Interest Deductibility?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-24, March.
    3. Poterba, James M, 1992. "Taxation and Housing: Old Questions, New Answers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 237-242, May.
    4. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Taxes, Regulations, and the Value of U.S. and U.K. Corporations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 767-796.
    5. Eva Ortega & Margarita Rubio & Carlos Thomas, 2011. "House purchase versus rental in Spain," Working Papers 1108, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    6. Leeper, Eric M. & Plante, Michael & Traum, Nora, 2010. "Dynamics of fiscal financing in the United States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(2), pages 304-321, June.
    7. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2015. "Household leveraging and deleveraging," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(1), pages 3-20, January.
    8. Matteo Iacoviello & Stefano Neri, 2010. "Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from an Estimated DSGE Model," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 125-164, April.
    9. Morris A. Davis, 2010. "housing and the business cycle," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
    10. Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Housing taxation and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1461-1489, October.
    11. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
    12. Rosen, Harvey S., 1979. "Housing decisions and the U.S. income tax : An econometric analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-23, February.
    13. Chambers, Matthew & Garriga, Carlos & Schlagenhauf, Don E., 2009. "Housing policy and the progressivity of income taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1116-1134, November.
    14. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    15. Sami Alpanda, 2012. "Taxation, collateral use of land, and Japanese asset prices," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 819-850, October.
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    Blog mentions

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    1. Housing and Tax Policy
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2013-09-26 19:57:10


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    Cited by:

    1. Sami Alpanda & Gino Cateau & Cesaire Meh, 2014. "A policy model to analyze macroprudential regulations and monetary policy," BIS Working Papers 461, Bank for International Settlements.
    2. Michael Funke & Robert Kirkby & Petar Mihaylovski, 2017. "House Prices and Macroprudential Policy in an Estimated DSGE Model of New Zealand," CESifo Working Paper Series 6487, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Alpanda, Sami & Zubairy, Sarah, 2017. "Addressing household indebtedness: Monetary, fiscal or macroprudential policy?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 47-73.
    4. Agustin Redonda, 2016. "Tax Expenditures and Sustainability. An Overview," Discussion Notes 1603, Council on Economic Policies.
    5. Gregory Bauer, 2014. "International House Price Cycles, Monetary Policy and Risk Premiums," Staff Working Papers 14-54, Bank of Canada.
    6. Margarta Rubio, 2014. "Rented vs. Owner-Occupied Housing and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 2014/09, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).

    More about this item


    Economic models; Fiscal Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy

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