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On the Incidence of a Financial Transactions Tax in a Model with Fire Sales


  • Felix Bierbrauer


This paper studies the impact of a financial transactions tax on a financial market where financial institutions trade with each other. Assets are marked to the market and financial institutions with negative equity are forced out of business. There are two main results: First, if all banks have enough liquidity so that they can honor their short-term obligations, a financial transactions tax is entirely neutral. Second, in a model with correlated investment risk and short-term financing of banks, a financial transactions tax contributes to financial distress and undoes other policy measures that are used to stabilize financial markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Felix Bierbrauer, 2012. "On the Incidence of a Financial Transactions Tax in a Model with Fire Sales," CESifo Working Paper Series 3870, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3870

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Enrico Perotti & Javier Suarez, 2011. "A Pigovian Approach to Liquidity Regulation," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(4), pages 3-41, December.
    2. James Tobin, 1978. "A Proposal for International Monetary Reform," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 4(3-4), pages 153-159, Jul/Oct.
    3. Genser, Bernd & Winker, Peter, 1997. "Measuring the fiscal revenue loss of VAT exemption in commercial banking," Discussion Papers, Series II 342, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
    4. Allen, Franklin & Carletti, Elena, 2008. "Mark-to-market accounting and liquidity pricing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 358-378, August.
    5. Michael Keen, 2011. "The Taxation and Regulation of Banks," IMF Working Papers 11/206, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    7. Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Limited Market Participation and Volatility of Asset Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 933-955, September.
    8. Rodrigo Cifuentes & Hyun Song Shin & Gianluigi Ferrucci, 2005. "Liquidity Risk and Contagion," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 556-566, 04/05.
    9. Harry Huizinga, 2002. "A European VAT on financial services?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 497-534, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tri Vi Dang & Florian Morath, 2013. "The Taxation of Bilateral Trade with Endogenous Information," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2013-07, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    2. Richard M. Bird, 2014. "Global Taxes and International Taxation: Mirage and Reality," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1429, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    3. Richard M. Bird, 2014. "Foreign advice and tax policy in developing countries," Chapters,in: Taxation and Development: The Weakest Link?, chapter 4, pages 103-144 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    financial transactions tax; financial stability; financial markets; cash-in-the-market-pricing; marking-to-market;

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation


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