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Taxing Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland

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Listed:
  • Marius Brülhart
  • Jonathan Gruber
  • Matthias Krapf
  • Kurt Schmidheiny

Abstract

We study the effects of wealth taxation on reported wealth. Our analysis is based on data for Switzerland, which has the highest rate of annual wealth taxation in the developed world. While the wealth tax base is defined at the federal level, tax rates vary considerably across locations and over time. We use aggregate data on wealth holdings by canton and individual-level data for the canton of Bern. Our estimated behavioral elasticities substantially exceed those of the taxable income literature. We also find that taxpayers bunch below the tax threshold, that observed responses are driven by changes in wealth holdings rather than mobility, and that financial wealth is somewhat more responsive than non-financial wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Marius Brülhart & Jonathan Gruber & Matthias Krapf & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2016. "Taxing Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 5966, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5966
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wealth taxation; behavioral responses; Switzerland;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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