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The Incidence of Transaction Taxes: Evidence from a Stamp Duty Holiday

Listed author(s):
  • Besley, Timothy J.
  • Meads, Neil
  • Surico, Paolo

This paper exploits the 2008-09 stamp duty holiday in the United Kingdom to estimate the incidence of a transaction tax on housing. The average reduction in the after-tax sale price is found to be around £900 against the backdrop of an average tax reduction of about £1500. While we estimate an increase in transactions of properties affected by the tax holiday around 8%, most of this effect appears to have reversed rapidly after the policy was withdrawn, suggesting mostly a short-term retiming of transactions. The findings are calibrated to a simple bargaining model to show they imply that about sixty percent of the surplus generated by the holiday accrued to buyers.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 10063.

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Date of creation: Jul 2014
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10063
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  1. Wojciech Kopczuk & David Munroe, 2015. "Mansion Tax: The Effect of Transfer Taxes on the Residential Real Estate Market," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 214-257, May.
  2. Jos Van Ommeren & Michiel Van Leuvensteijn, 2005. "New Evidence of the Effect of Transaction Costs on Residential Mobility," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 681-702.
  3. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 451-488, 05.
  4. Ben Dachis & Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2012. "The effects of land transfer taxes on real estate markets: evidence from a natural experiment in Toronto," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 327-354, March.
  5. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
  6. Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 1043-1092 Elsevier.
  7. Merlo, Antonio & Ortalo-Magne, Francois, 2004. "Bargaining over residential real estate: evidence from England," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 192-216, September.
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