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Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxes: Evidence from Switzerland

Author

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

Abstract

We study how reported wealth responds to changes in wealth tax rates. Exploiting rich intra-national variation in Switzerland, the country with the highest revenue share of annual wealth taxation in the OECD, we find that a 1 percentage point drop in the wealth tax rate raises reported wealth by at least 43% after 6 years. Administrative tax records of two cantons with quasi-randomly assigned differential tax reforms suggest that 24% of the effect arise from taxpayer mobility and 20% from house price capitalization. Savings responses appear unable to explain more than a small fraction of the remainder, suggesting sizable evasion responses in this setting with no third-party reporting of financial wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Marius Brülhart & Jonathan Gruber & Matthias Krapf & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2019. "Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxes: Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 7908, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7908
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wealth taxation; behavioral responses; taxpayer mobility; evasion; Switzerland;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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